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Don’t worry. Be sad.

It’s not easy being blue. Especially not when the ho-ho-ho holiday season has officially begun.

I don’t know about you, but all those twinkling lights make me think I should be feeling a lot more twinkly than I do.

The truth is, I’m in the midst of a heart-wrenching family crisis. And while I’m hoping for brighter days, ‘tis not my season to be jolly. (At least, not yet.)

But in this quick-fix, smiley-faced, Hallmark world, it’s hard to allow ourselves the time and space to sit with our real feelings.

Especially if you received the same childhood message that I did: That it was my job to make others happy. (I call it the “Suzy Sunshine Syndrome.”)

Now, I’m not advocating raining on everyone else’s holiday parade.

And yes, there are countless problems worse than mine.

And yes, I have tons to be grateful for.

But let’s face it. Sometimes we need to give ourselves permission to feel blue or blah.

Especially if  we’re letting go of a job, a home, a pet, a relationship, a life stage, a dream or a picture of “how we thought things were going to be.”

I’ve learned that the best way to get out of a blue period, is to first allow yourself to be in it.

Here are some things that have been making me feel better. See if they work for you:

1. Go to your womb.

Sometimes you just have to wrap yourself in a blankie, give yourself a hug and say “there, there.” (Quite the challenge when you’re used to taking care of everyone else.)

Hard times call for soft foods like tapioca pudding or Cherry Garcia Frozen Yogurt.

Or settling down with a yummy book and a cup of real mint tea. (Just toss a big handful of fresh mint into a small infuser, add boiling water and let steep for 5 minutes. )

In other words, be your own sweet mommy and baby yourself.

2. Just say no.

If you’re a recovering people-pleaser like me, this is a tough one.

But when that little voice inside you says “I’m not in a party mood,” listen to her.

Not the well-intentioned friends who say “Oh come on, you’ll feel better going out.”

Take the time to check in with You. (Don’t feel like making small talk? Permission granted.)

When you respect your feelings, others do, too.

3. Ask for what you want.

Very few of us are mind-readers.

So, when a friend asks “Can I do anything? ” don’t say “no,” secretly wishing they’d drop off some soup or stop by for a hug.

And if a loved thinks they’re helping by offering “solutions” to your feelings, it’s okay to say “Please, I just need you to listen.”

A little speaking up can make a big difference in how you feel.

4. Let it rain.

Of course, there’s nothing quite as cathartic as a good cry. Instead of feeling all grey and cloudy, you get that clean, fresh feeling, like after it rains.

Flowers bloom. Birds chirp. So what if mascara runs.

Besides, scientific research has shown that tears actually release stress, hormones and toxins accumulated in the brain. So, bring them on.

Ahhh, just allowing myself to talk about feeling sad here has made me feel better already.  (Thanks for listening.)

5. Don’t worry. Be grateful.

There’s a lot of pressure out there to have  “Happy Holidays.”

But this year,  I’m choosing to have “grateful” ones.

By consciously letting go of  “happy” for a while, it tends to show up unexpectedly.

Especially when I’m working on what I call a “Gift List.”

Instead of writing down all the gifts you need to buy, write down the ones you already have.

For instance, I just listed “the hummingbird outside my window.” “The laptop I’m typing on.” And “You.”

I’m so grateful that you’ve taken the time to read the musings and schmoozings of my heart.  (And might even be sharing some of your own.)

No matter what colors you’re feeling, I wish you a (happiness-optional) Holiday Season full of gratitude and love,


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11 comments to Don’t worry. Be sad.

  • Joni

    Thanks! have passed it on to a friend who needed just this right now! ♥

  • Stacy

    Wendi, a friend forwarded this blog post to me. Just delightful! Your authenticity and wisdom are refreshing. Grateful Holidays to you. Stacy

  • Thank You for this post! It is affirming, truthful & just what I needed to hear.

  • Wendi, I am sorry for your heartbreak. Thank you for this beautiful thoughtful post. Your wisdom shines through and will comfort many. May it also comfort you.

  • Wendi,
    I love this posting. Black Friday makes me feel blue. The insanity of having to give rather than choosing to give. It’s communal insanity that truly raids us of what is truly important. Gratitude, as you suggested, for the little things and extraordinary ones. The hummingbird, your husband washed the dishes.
    I love your wisdom. It just keeps coming to us clearer and clearer. Feel better Goddess.

    • Linda,
      I know exactly what you mean about Black Friday. It is so much pressure. The thing is, the kind of gifts that you give and appreciate—-like what you just wrote me—–are so much more precious than anything. I’ll take 100% of your wisdom and heart—-over 50% off anything else. With love from the bottom of my grateful heart.

  • Carol

    I’m so sorry that you’re going through a challenging time. Sending you lots of compassion and loads of hugs so that you know that you’re loved and deeply cared for. Keep following your five suggestions ~ they’ve helped me ~ especially the last two.

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