by Sandy Coughlin
The Reluctant Entertainer 
Medford blogger, author, entertainer
The after-Christmas blues.
This year feels different. I’m embracing the fact that my kids are getting older, and I’m fighting the blues with a healthier approach. Thankful for the gift of each day, for the gift of my family and friends, I’ve found there are things I can do to keep from falling into a rut of after-party blues.
Don’t forget to hug and kiss the ones you love!
Looking ahead, with JOY in my heart:
1. Start the morning off by reading something inspirational. Something that gets your mind off of yourself and on to others. We really are created not just to get joy, but to give it.
2. Plan another party or dinner in your home. It may be a NYE dinner, or a get-together in January. If you love to have people in your home, it’s a good thing to look ahead and keep the excitement and anticipation and outreach going.
3. Keep exercising, even if it’s just a walk every day. Exercise during the holidays is essential, as it creates physical energy, clears the mind, and flushes out toxic emotions. Try it consistently for 5 days and see if you feel a difference.
4. Clean or tidy up your house. It may be too soon to take your Christmas decorations down – or maybe not. I particularly like to get things back in order right after Christmas. As I put away, I freshen up the wood, vacuum under the furniture, fluff the pillows, bring out a new candle.
5. Take old stuff to Good Will. There’s a tradition for New Year’s in many cultures, symbolic of getting rid of the old (and making room for new). I have 2 large boxes ready to go to Good Will this week. It feels good to purge and make yourself get rid of things you really don’t need anymore.
6. Clean the yard, patios, or work on a winter project. Getting in the outdoors, even if only an hour a day, will give a new mind set. Not only are you getting an outdoor chore done, you’re feeling a sense of accomplishment (and it’s good for the physical well being).
7. Hunker down, read good books, watch movies, curl up by the fire, take naps, don’t fight the long winter days and nights. It’s a hibernating time – time to catch up on sleep and rest.
8. Start a new project. Our neighbor tore out their back patio area and gave us the concrete, so we’re slowly building new beds in the back side yard. It’s free, it’s improving our yard, and again, manual labor is good for the soul.
9. Change your diet. After so much good food, today is the day to do a juice fast. Time to get the sugar and rich foods out of your system and replace them with vitamins and minerals.
10. Keep busy. The best thing you can do for yourself is to do something for others. Don’t dwell on disappointments from the holidays but start anew with a fresh outlook. Look around yourself and see what condition those around you are in. It could be your neighbor that needs help, or an elderly friend.
Did I mention, hug and kiss the ones you love? (wink-wink)
Because I’m all about hospitality, invite your friends over for hot chocolate and conversation. Don’t keep to yourself or you’ll find the dark shadows of depression creeping up on you.
How about making a meal for another family, or better yet, extending an invitation for others to join you for a post-holiday meal.
It feels good to give. It’s what we’re made for.
by Sandy Coughlin
The Reluctant Entertainer