Friday, January 20, 2012

January Blues...

Are you feeling BLUE?

Blue Boy
designed and made 
by The Hostess

January and February are months that many people experience a slump in attitude or the blues.
Feeling blah in and of itself is not necessarily a bad thing.
In order to feel joy one does need to know what sadness feels like.

If you are feeling extremely depressed and have lost interest in things that normally made you happy then it is a more serious condition and you might consider visiting your doctor.

Feeling low happens from time to time.
It can be lack of sleep or vitamin D or not enough exercise...
or a combination of things.
Often it is due to worrying about things that are beyond our control.
(I am guilty of this one!)

Are you eating a variety of healthy nutritious foods?
Have you remembered to drink 6-8 glasses of water each day?

Do you set aside some time to sit and quietly reflect on the positive things in your life?

Have you been keeping in touch with your best friends?
Friends are a very dear breed as they accept us with all our quirks and foibles.

I think of these low ebbs as a time to delve deep and learn strategies I need to employ in order to alleviate and reclaim a happy mindset.

Fortunately I have learned to listen to my body and I am proactive and take steps to ward off the blahs...
but if they do strike despite my best efforts I have a few tricks up my sleeve.

Flowers are my go to pick me up...

snow dust on the back deck.

"Blues Busters"

Pick fresh flowers from the garden or buy some at the florist.

Call and chat with a friend 
or better yet meet for a walk and a coffee.

Wander through your neighbourhood and greet the people you meet.

Watch a movie
(I prefer romantic comedies)

Soak in a hot tub of scented salts
slather on shea butter when you get out
wear your robe and slippers and cozy up with a good book.

Explore the local galleries and museums.

Take a class in something new and exciting...
many courses are offered throughout the community
photography, bridge lessons, ethnic cuisine, crafts and dancing, 
are just a few ideas.

Volunteer to help in your community.
The local SPCA is a great place to start...think of all those animals needing a little TLC.

Pepper was a rescue kitten.
Pets are wonderful companions
I highly recommend owning one.

Put your favourite music on and play it loud!

Make some comfort food for lunch or dinner.

Get creative...
knit, sew, paint, decorate.

Browse through inspiring and beautiful coffee table style books at the library.

Have one chocolate and savour the flavour.

Go to the cosmetic counter and have a free makeover
take advantage of the freebies they offer you.

Reorganize your closet.

Go thrift shopping for something whimsical that speaks to you.

Give yourself permission to be sad for a set amount of time and then get on with life.
It's OK to be blue
just don't make a habit of it.

If you or someone you know is depressed 
take action
and seek professional help.

Remember to take deep breaths
try to relax

this too shall pass....


  1. Wonderful ideas for combatting the blues. When I was 22 years old, I briefly worked as a cocktail waitress in a country-western bar in Las Vegas. I was low cowgirl on the totem pole, so I got the graveyard shift - 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. I would see so little of the sun since I worked all night, and slept most of the day, that I developed a case of the SADS - seasonal attitudinal disorder. Not seeing the sun regularly can very much cause issues with our moods and emotional well-being.

    Until yesterday, we had weeks upon weeks of sunshine - very unusual for us. I am not feeling any symptoms of the blues, thankfully. But when I do feel down, I find volunteering to be the best remedy. Spending an hour with one of my senior clients always makes me feel better.

    Love that Pepper :)

    xoxo, A

  2. What a lovely post. The "blue" images are terrific!
    This time of year can be hard for many people. I'm planning trips to see both of my grandmothers, they are in their 90's and in different long-term care facilities and I know that visits will cheer them up immensely, and of course I love spending time with both of them.
    Thanks for the inspiration!

    1. Mr. HB's Mother is in a facility and he visits several times a week.
      We all need to know that someone loves us...

  3. This is a masterpiece--words and images. I love the idea you presented on A Femme's blog: the attitude of gratitude. It's not trite. I actually kept a running list for a few years when I was working under a dept head who disliked me. Very hard to get bad schedules and hostile evaluations every year. That list helped a lot.

    1. The attitude of gratitude came from a very dark place.
      It was such an eye opener and I have never looked back.

      Interesting thing here is that I had a supervisor who was toxic and went out of her way to belittle me and it was such a shock growing up with the "Golden Rule."

  4. Very nice "blue boy" that you made. Made me smile. Exercise and a conscientious practice of gratitude help me when I'm having the "free-floating" blues. But also being aware, that life has it's ups and downs, and that it's all appropriate to feel sad when there's a situation that warrants it. I do love your watch, and I think I asked, but maybe no answer - is it vintage?

    1. Kathy Peck- I have no idea if it is vintage. Someone might help us out if they know.

  5. Such good reminders! (And I need them from time to time.) It's "blue" over at my posts the past two days, too!

  6. This is a lovely post Hostess, and excellent advice. xx

  7. Such a good post and beautiful photography too. I think your advice is good and what I have found really helpful is to really try to cheer myself up when the first signs of the blues set in, otherwise I tend to spiral down quickly. i really like your ideas about self-care, since I tend to feel guilty if I do too many things for myself, and it is a reminder that you can't help others if you take care of yourself too.

    1. Ann- Back when my kids were in school I never said no to any volunteer opportunity....I got burnt out.
      You are so right, take care of yourself first and then you can take care of others.

  8. Your "blues" are gorgeous. I always find adding some color, whether with a scarf or a vase of flowers, or even just changing up my screensaver at work gives me a lift. We've had too much sun here though, and we need some grey skies and rain!

  9. Thanks! I am not feeling blue, but I know it is a trying time of year. Love the pic of Pepper after her breathing exercises! Peg

    PS Must call a friend today and will continue knitting. Just might take up the cross stitch work too!

  10. Tell us more about the blue bathtub! Wonderful photos. Sunshine banished blues for me, and there is so much more of it in my new city; I am grateful.

    1. The blue bathtub was in the driveway on my walk! I could not believe my eyes when I saw it...I had been thinking of things that were blue! Blue tubs in the snow have to be very rare on the ground.

  11. You had a lot of tips to share. Doing even a fraction of them, would drive the " feeling blue " away.
    The trouble is, that when someone really feels depressed, she/ he is not able to grab on anything. Yes, I know - to the doctor, but when even the idea of going to see one feels impossible.
    January is a difficult month for me, as it is a winter month and it feels s o long.
    Simple, physical work, trying to keep a normal day schedule helps me. But, ahh - sometimes I might spend a whole day - doing nothing ; ).

    1. January is long and often dark. The mere fact that you can enjoy a day relaxing and doing very little sounds a bit like a Spa Day!

  12. Lovely, lovely post. How curious that we were on precisely the same wave length today.

    Hope you have a lovely weekend, dear friend.

    1. When I read your post this morning I got goose bumps!
      Hope that you have a great weekend.

  13. I am so depressed in January and forget about February. And even though I know it will pass...these months in the Northeast are just damn hard. But thank you for your encouraging post

    1. Brigid- Please tell me more and we can be friends and partners in the pursuit of happiness.

  14. Oooh yes I'd like to know more about the bathtub , is it yours, do you sometimes bathe in the garden? I rarely get the blues, but know plenty who do and I like to try to help talk them through it, I'm not a counsellor, but I think I am pretty good at making people get the right help from a professional.

    1. I saw this tub in a driveway while I was on my walk!
      Blue too, perfect for this post theme!

  15. hi leslie,

    i actually love january and february too. i think it's b/c the holidays are over and everything seems like it has a fresh start. i get v enthusiastic this time of year. BUT when i do get down, i get outside, no matter the weather i need fresh air when the blues strike!

    1. Fresh air is a tonic anytime...
      the air in Utah must be lovely right now.

      I can visualize you skiing down the slopes, looking and feeling like a younger and more energetic woman....

      you do inspire me, more than you'll ever know.



  16. This too shall pass - oh yes....washed away with the rain.

    1. Oh but what about this wild wind?
      Will we have power outages?
      I hope not.

  17. What a beautiful post, and good suggestions to beat the blues. I have more trouble with depression in November December. By this time of year it's starting to get lighter earlier and I'm anticipating spring.

    You have wonderful china pieces, and such a good eye for photos.

    1. Oh I agree with you Spring is such a wonderful season, I think of it as a fresh new beginning. Anticipating spring, I can hardly wait to see the snowdrops bloom in the bungalow garden.

  18. Beautiful blue pictures and such great ideas for pick me ups. My moods never have anything to do with the weather but I'm going to consult this list when my next downer arrives.
    Oh how do you put the replies underneath posts? I've been trying to figure it out all week!

    1. Blogger has made commenting so much easier in the past few weeks. After each comment there is a reply/delete button and all I do is press reply and type in my comment. I love this new feature!

  19. Lovely post and use of color: blue (my personal favorite) and then sunny yellow. How can one be blue with Pepper around?

    1. I am not feeling blue at this time...
      The colours blue and yellow seem so French together would you agree?

  20. Lovely post Hostess, you certainly have a way with words.