Photo courtesy of Mark Becher
Now that all of the gifts have been opened and all of the gluttony is out of the way, we can begin to recover a semblance of normalcy and get back to our regularly scheduled lives. Last week, as I sat looking at the piles of opened gifts strewn all over my living room, I started making a mental tally of how much money I spent this year and why. It can be frighteningly easy to get a little bit too into the gift-giving spirit, and before we know it, we’ve got a room full of wrapping paper and empty boxes. At this time of year, the only thing emptier than those boxes is bound to be our wallets.
Unfortunately, some people are left with a certain sense of emptiness that stretches even beyond their purse strings after the holidays. This common occurrence is attributed to a phenomenon called the Post-Christmas Blues. Naturally, not everyone celebrates Christmas, but most Americans do celebrate at least one December holiday that gets hyped up all year long. For those who are susceptible to emotional ups and downs, it’s easy to be left feeling blue after the holiday passes.
While your plan to right your finances may take six months or more, you can address the emptiness you’re feeling inside immediately by following most or all of the suggestions below. Luckily, it’s a lot easier to become an emotional millionaire than a real one. Bid a fond farewell to last year and begin looking toward a fresh start in areas of your life that could use a boost.
- Love and be loved. Spend time with those who love you back, and express your love. Tell them how important they are to you. Often.
- Accept life’s gifts. Devote more time to focusing on what you do have than what you wish you had. Many times, what we have right now is pretty darn great.
- Be the best person you can be and strive to live your best life. Be good to others - even those you don’t know. Smile at strangers and watch as they smile back. Do your part to make the world a better place. It happens one person at a time.
- Laugh at yourself every day. I’ve always said that it’s extremely important to be able to laugh at yourself. Taking yourself too seriously gets old fast, and not only to you.
- The Beatles said, “Let it Be,” because you should. Let any past regrets or anger slip away. Dedicating time and energy to such negative emotions takes away from your ability to move forward and make progress.
- Know your worth. Be your biggest supporter and your loudest cheerleader. Don’t allow people to treat you like a doormat. People will see how much you respect yourself and follow suit.
- Goof off. In my family, we thrive on silliness. Singing made up songs in weird voices, doing funky hand jives, and creating homemade games are all a huge factor in how absurdly happy we all are.
- Indulge. – Let’s face it – none of us is perfect, and it’s high time we start admitting it. Indulge in your greatest pleasures from time to time, even if they’re not exceedingly good for you.
Paying off your financial debts is a necessary process that can lower your credit score if left unattended. Emotional debts, on the other hand, will slowly deplete your satisfaction with life, and repaying them becomes more complex the longer they’re left neglected. Sustaining financial stability is a prerequisite for adulthood, but when The Beatles crooned that being wealthy just wasn’t all that important, it seems to me, well… that they were right on the money.