Goin' Down to Bitsyland | Marshall P. Duke

January 11, 2015 10:52 PM

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Despite T.S. Eliot's claim to the contrary, for many of us, January, not April, is the cruelest month. January is burdened with following the most emotional time of the year. Just past are Thanksgiving, Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa and other major end-of-year sources (for the majority of us) of joy, togetherness, family-ness, and nostalgia as well as a host of other soul-warming kinds of experiences. (It must be said and recognized that, for some people, all these holiday-time emotions, though typically as intense, are not always positive, but the recommendations I make below apply to them as well, I believe.) But come January 2, a day after that ball dropped in Times Square, the strong positive feelings felt by so many are suddenly gone. The IRS starts sending out tax forms. Employers issue W-2s and 1099s. It's cold outside. It's cold inside. It's flu season. It's six weeks until the faintest formalized cultural excuse for human warmth and interaction -- Valentine's Day. Talk about a cruel month.

There are ways to deal with these post-holiday doldrums, however, but they require our active participation. First of all, we must realize that "downs" are natural aspects of life. Everyone experiences them. But there are ways to ease them. For decades, I have been involved in the study of ways in w...

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