Monday, December 19, 2016

WELLNESS WEDNESDAY: MANAGING THE HOLIDAY BLUES

 Often we look forward to the holidays when we are able to  spend time with family and friends but all too often the anticipation and excitement is overwhelmed by feelings of depression, better known as holiday blues. 
Symptoms can include headaches, insomnia, uneasiness, anxiety, sadness, intestinal problems, and all to often,  conflict.
There are several reasons the holiday season can change moods and cause anxiety, including over drinking, overeating, and increased fatigue. Spending inordinate amount of time shopping, cooking, traveling, entertaining out of town guests, and office parties; all can cause extra financial burdens.
Here are some ways to prevent problems:
1. Be reasonable with your schedule. Do not overbook yourself into a state of exhaustion--this makes people cranky, irritable, and depressed.
2. Decide about priorities and stick to them.
3. Remember that holidays CAN cause feelings of loneliness, sadness, frustration, anger, and fear.  Be prepared to fight the negative mood.
4. When family visit,  it is easy to recall resentments.  Stay in the present.  This is not the time to remind family of mistakes in their past, but can be a time to renew relationships.
5. Don't expect the holidays to be just as they were when you were a child. We are no longer children.
6. Plan to volunteer at a homeless shelter or work with underprivileged or hospitalized children or elders.   It's hard to feel blue when reaching out to help others.  
7. Plan to take a drive and look at the holiday decorations. Look at people's Christmas lighting on their homes.
8. Do not over-indulge in alcohol. This will exacerbate depression and anxiety. 
9. Create time for yourself, for physical and mental wellness. Try aerobic exercise, yoga, massage, spiritual practices or taking walks.
10. Remember to always face each day with hope and determination.  Choose to think of the glass as half full.  
If you do find yourself overwhelmed by the holiday blues, reach out to your healthcare provider for help.  
Provider's are on call 24 hours daily/7 days a week at Patient Centered Care.  http://patientcareofwilmington.com/

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