The holiday season can be a festive time of connecting with family and friends and reflecting over our successes and accomplishments of the past year. The commercialization of the holiday season can lead to emotional highs and lows. We have great expectations about the holiday season, but when the great expectation doesn’t happen the “Blue Dude” moves in…the blues depression.
I had the expectation that he would give me a ring and propose to me, but he didn’t. I have been living with my boyfriend for two years and I expected that we would get married this year but we didn’t. I had the expectation that my family would come to visit me over the holidays but they didn’t. I had the expectation that me and my family would all get along better, but we argued the entire time. My expectation was to be debt free and financially independent, but it hasn’t happened. I expected to be finished with my degree and have a better paying career, but it hasn’t happened. A lot has happened, but what you expected hasn’t happened yet. The “Blue Dude” moves in…the blues, depression.
We compete with holiday gifts by trying to “out-give the giver”. We go above and beyond our financial means to make people feel loved, appreciated and wanted. However, one thing happens: the credit card bills arrive by mid January and the “Blue Dude” moves in… the blues, depression.
Military servicemembers and their families are definitely facing the Blue Dude because deployments mean not being together with loved one and friends. Maybe you were not expecting a deployment or maybe you were expecting to be home from deployment by now. The “Blue Dude” moves in…the blues, depression.
You can make the Blue Dude Mooove Over by if you do these 3 things.
1. Show people you love them by giving them the gift of “you”. For example, send them a framed photo of you. You can find very inexpensive picture frames. Most people tend to recycle gifts by giving them to other people, or by throwing them in the back of the closet. Family and true friends will love the picture and in return you won’t have a maxed out credit card.
2. It's okay to say “no”. Go ahead and practice right now. Say the word “no” three times to yourself. It may take some getting used to. The holiday season is a time to become over burdened with many activities and events. Remember, the holidays are also a time for rest and relaxation too. There is a great emotional build up to Thanksgiving Day. Our emotions go up and up. Finally the day comes and “aaaahhh,” we emotionally tumble back down. The same emotional roller coaster happens with Christmas and New Year's Day too. Avoid the emotional roller coaster by taking time out for yourself. Take care of yourself, and say no to frivolous events and activities.
3. Remember that life happens. It’s normal when things don’t work out exactly like we expect them to, so don’t blame and beat yourself up too bad. However, don’t go overboard and commercialize the holiday season. It will only lead to the blues and even depression.
This holiday season make the Blue Dude Mooove Over.
About Ms. Vicki
Ms. Vicki is married to an active-duty Soldier and they have three sons. She has a Master's of Science in Social Work from the University of Louisville and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Ms. Vicki writes an advice column "Dear Ms. Vicki" that appears in the Washington Times, the Fort Campbell Courier and the Heidelberg Herald Post. Ms. Vicki also hosts an internet radio show and blogs on her community site with the Washington Times.If you want to ask Ms. Vicki for advice about your military life, please email her at AskMsVicki@military-inc.com
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