By Barbara Radin Fox for The Island Connection
Since we’re getting into the swing of the holiday season, a few words on how to beat the “Holiday Blues” may be helpful.
Many people don’t understand why they get depressed during the holiday season and actually feel guilty and frustrated for feeling that way.
It’s actually a fairly common occurrence and there are many reasons for this situation.
- Almost everyone has a Norman Rockwell picture in their minds about how they would like their holiday(s) to look like. The big, happy family seated at the dining room table with Dad or Grandpa carving the turkey. Or, the happy and good looking family of Mom, Dad, son and daughter seated in the living room with a huge, beautifully decorated Christmas tree and lots of presents surrounding it. The problem is that many of us don’t have those “picture-perfect” families or homes and that can make people very sad.
2.There are many events and parties during the holidays but many people don’t have any events or parties to go to, aren’t invited, or can’t attend for some reason.
- Many people have the expectation that they have to give an expensive gift and really don’t have the financial means to do that. This can make people feel that they are not good enough and anxious about what the intended recipient will think of them.
- People often eat too much overall during the holiday season, which can make some people feel bloated. Also, many people drink more alcohol than usual, which can lead to depression since it is a depressive drug, not to mention having hangovers the next morning. Eating foods with lots of sugar can also increase anxiety and depression.
- The holidays also often include travel, either to see other friends and relatives or to celebrate the season. Traveling can take a toll on finances and is often stressful.
What we can all do to prevent “the holiday blues” is to accept the reality of our own personal situations, families and finances. Try to make a concerted effort to not overeat or drink and get enough sleep nightly and enough aerobic exercise to help keep us mentally in shape. Realize that you don’t have to “buy” a person’s love with an expensive gift and you don’t have to travel if it’s inconvenient or too expensive.
If we have more realistic expectations and make better decisions to take care of ourselves, we’ll be able to actually enjoy the holiday season.
The Seabrook Island Health Professionals Group will be meeting Jan. 10. If you would like to come or learn more about the group, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Questions or suggestions for publication about a health related topic can be emailed or sent to Barbara Radin Fox, 2045 Maybank Hwy, Charleston 29412.