Hey friends! In high school, my Psychology teacher began each class by asking how our mental health was that day. I never thought much of it then, but now I see the importance of checking in on your and others well being. (Thanks Mr. Cochrane!) So today I want to see how your mental health is today? I know, from personal experience, that the holidays come with sooooo many emotions. From happiness and excitement to even loneliness and grief. Especially grief….as some of us may recognize and feel the void of the special people that are no longer with us to share in the holiday festivities. And I’ll admit I’ve been feeling it lately. It’s sooooo easy to get caught up in sadness, hopelessness, loneliness, fatigue, irritability, change in appetite, avoiding people or activities that you used to enjoy…..All of which could be symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) or seasonal depression. I’m not throwing out a diagnosis. I’m just saying pay attention to how you feel throughout the holidays and winter months and everyday for that matter. If you’ve felt any or all of the things I’ve mentioned, you should have a conversation with your Primary Care Doctor.
Tips for Beating the Holiday Blues:
- There’s nothing wrong with feeling less than the usual holiday cheer. In fact, it’s very common. Recognize and accept how you feel. You’re not alone.
- Talk it out with your doctor, family, friends, mentor, anyone. You’d be surprised what kind of healing can take place when you release your feelings.
- Reach out to friends and family members to spend some quality time.
- Volunteer for those who are less fortunate. A huge reminder to be grateful for what we have and an opportunity to give back to the community.
- Work out all that frustration, sweat out that loneliness, and hydrate to flood that stressful eating away.
- Drink Responsibly. Overindulging is not a healthy coping mechanism. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism recommends no more than 3 drinks on any single day and no more than 7 drinks per week for woman. For men, its no more than 4 drinks on any single day and no more than 14 drinks per week. Drink in moderation and DON’T DRIVE DRUNK.
Tips for Helping People Experiencing the Holiday Blues:
- Invite people out or over for dinner, fun games, a workout or just to talk.
- Help people out with any tasks that may alleviate some stress around the house (ie. cooking, cleaning, laundry etc…)
- Sometimes advise it not necessary. When people open up about their emotions they are in a vulnerable state. So just be a good listener. Acknowledge and Validate how they feel. And encourage them to do one of the above mention tips on beating the holidays blues
- Encourage them to talk to their doctor!
Let’s take care of our physical AND mental health in 2019.