Beating the New Year’s Blues So We Can Enjoy 2021

Sherri Woodbridge avatar

by Sherri Woodbridge |

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It’s not easy to start a new year when the last one was so difficult. 

I saw a picture of someone holding a sign exclaiming, “We made it!” in honor of the new year. Another sign, however, depicted a cartoonish group of people peeking around the corner, all holding rifles as they trod carefully from 2020 into 2021. 

Both are accurate in their illustration of how people are leaving 2020 with glee and stepping into 2021 with fear and trepidation. Additionally, the new year may bring depression and a feeling of hopelessness because of our experiences from the past year.

It doesn’t have to feel that way, but it’s so easy to succumb to despair. How do you climb out of that big, black hole? Following are suggestions about how to beat the blues so that you can enjoy, not dread, the rest of the year.

Wash away the hopelessness

Feeling down in the dumps can make us feel like not doing much of anything. We slump down on the couch, put our head on a pillow, and refuse to move. When we feel down, the first thing we tend to let go of is our hygiene. Taking a shower helps to rejuvenate your spirit, so climb into the tub and scrub those blues away. Try singing while you’re cleaning.              

Don’t put on the same clothes you were wearing prior to your shower. Put on clean clothes. If you don’t have any clean clothes, it’s time to wash a load of laundry.

When you finish showering and have gotten dressed, consider changing your bed sheets if you are able. If you are unable to change your sheets, try to make your bed. It may sound funny, but this gives you a sense of order and can give you a better state of mind. When your environment is out of control and in disorder, your inner self can feel out of control as well.

Feel the beat

Put on your favorite upbeat music and turn it up so you can really hear it. Stay away from the songs that tend to bring you down further, such as Harry Chapin’s “Cat’s in the Cradle” or Hank Williams’ “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry.”

Try listening to songs such as Bobby McFerrin’s “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” or Kenny Loggins’ “Footloose.”

Water is life

When we are thirsty, often the first thing many of us reach for is an ice-cold soda. If we are truly striving to feel better, we’ll leave the soda on the grocery store shelf and take a bottle of water instead.

Walking is underrated 

Get outside and take a walk, even if it is raining. It doesn’t have to be a long walk, as long as you get outside and get some fresh air. Spring will be here before we know it, and we’ll be able to smell the flowers once again.

Get creative

If you don’t have any hobbies, it’s never too late to start. One activity I have enjoyed lately is paint pouring. You can check it out here. It is important to have something you love to do and to make time for it.

Don’t hide

The phone can be your friend. I confess that I don’t really like talking on the phone. Because of Parkinson’s, my words get slurred and I tend to talk softly. I easily become frustrated when I am on the phone. However, I know that talking with others is important, and I am trying to do better.

It can be easy to crawl into a corner and hide from others. If you find the phone hard to use, perhaps sending a card would be easier.

Whatever you do, stay away from deep, dark holes of helplessness that you may easily fall into. Stay in the sunshine and soak it in. But don’t forget your sunscreen.

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Note: Parkinson’s News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Parkinson’s News Today or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Parkinson’s disease.

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