Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Banishing the Post-Holiday Blues

Hi Booksellers,

I’ll just go ahead and say it: I am not a winter person. I don’t ski, skate, or sled. I don’t cheer for snow (because I know I’ll be seeing it for months). And I have yet to become friendly with Minnesota’s subzero temps. In short, I’m a winter Grinch. And I suspect I’m not alone.

How do I deal with it? I’d love to tell you that I practice yoga regularly. The truth is I rely on long, hot baths, books, and ice cream to get me through to April. And commiserating with friends helps, too!

If January and February are your least favorite months, check out this great article about beating back the winter doldrums. Kerri Connor, author of Spells for Tough Times, offers simple, magical ways to lift your mood, maintain cheer long after the holidays have ended, and spread the sunshine to your coworkers and customers.

Banishing the Post-Holiday Blues
By Kerri Connor

With the hustle and bustle of holiday shopping over, it’s the time of year when sales slow down and returns increase. For those working in retail, it may mean spending more time with your coworkers, rearranging displays, pulling stock to return for credit, and reorganizing.

After the holidays, you may notice that people are more easily depressed, distracted and disgruntled. Everyone has bills to deal with and perhaps other after holiday stressors, as well. It’s no longer the “happiest time of the year.”

The people you work with are going through the same thing, but we all often forget we aren’t the only one in the boat. You can help yourself (and by extension) your coworkers, through this bump in the road with a couple of simple magical workings.

Uplift Your Spirit
You can easily uplift your spirit and the spirits of those around you simply by adding certain scents to your everyday life. Don’t worry about running out and buying some expensive new perfumes. All you need is a couple of drops of essential oil, distilled water, and some kind of a spray bottle. (You can use an empty hair spray bottle if you have one; just rinse both it and the pump really well first.) Add the distilled water to the bottle along with about 5-10 drops of any of the following essential oils. (If you don’t have any of these oils, ask around! Maybe one of your friends does.) Feel free to combine oils to create a whole new scent:
  • bergamot for peace and happiness
  • lavender for peace and happiness
  • basil to promote sympathy, happiness and peace
  • neroli for happiness
  • ylang-ylang for peace
Each day as you are getting dressed for work, spray some of the mixture through your hair and on your skin. As you do so, say:   
These elements I combined
to do magic indeed
Fill me with peace and happiness
and negativity will have no grasp on me.
Allow this scent to work in the minds of all who inhale their beauty.
Let the scent work its power on you. Let it calm you, soothe, you, bring you peace and happiness. Let your positive attitude be an example for everyone else you work with. Good attitudes are just as contagious as poor attitudes. Let your attitude infect the people around you.

Bake Contentment
The sense of smell is strongly tied to emotions and feelings. When combined with the sense of taste, the effect can be overpowering. These cookies encourage peace, happiness and calmness through both their scent and their delicious sweet taste. Allow the lavender to do its work and calm and soothe the emotions of your coworkers.  Not to mention, people love surprises.

Lavender Cookies 
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 tablespoons finely chopped lavender flowers
1½ cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
Lavender crystallized sugar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cream butter and sugar, beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in the dry ingredients until well blended. As you mix the ingredients together, infuse the dough with positive energies. Project your good wishes for your coworkers into the dough. Drop by a teaspoon onto an ungreased baking sheet. Sprinkle each cookie with the lavender crystallized sugar. Bake 8-10 minutes.
Show up to work with a platter of these cookies to help bring some camaraderie to the break room that will overflow onto the sales floor.

Accentuate the Positive
You can use affirmations to help boost your own contentment, which serves as an example for others. Or perhaps encourage the inclusion of simple affirmations in morning meetings so everyone can start the day on the right foot.

Some affirmations to try include:
  • I am at my best. My work is at its best.
  • Together our team succeeds.
  • I am at peace. I am content. I am happy to help others.
  • I keep my relationships at work positive and trusting.
  • When times are tough, we pull together to help one another.

These affirmations can be used either by yourself or in groups. The more coworkers you can get to work with them, the better, but don’t try to force them on anyone. Let anyone who wants to participate do so, soon no one will want to be left out.

When you combine good intentions with a touch of magic, you can help to turn even the most unpleasant of work places into a goal oriented team that works together for the betterment of the business, and each other.

Spells for Tough Times
Available February 2012
Kerri Connor (Chicagoland, IL) is the author of Spells for Tough Times (February 2012). She is the High Priestess of The Gathering Grove, and has been practicing her craft for twenty-five years. She is the author of three other books of magic, and her writing has appeared in The Blessed Bee, Sage Woman, PanGaia, and New Witch. She runs The Pagan Review, a website that provides reviews of Pagan products. She also recently started Nurturing Necessities, a non-profit charitable organization.

Kerri Connor on Her Favorite Bookstore:
Kerri Connor, a former Border’s addict, now frequents Howl at the Moon in Richmond, Illinois.


Anyone else have ideas for beating back the winter blues? Please share!

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