By Amanda Armoogam
The day after Turkey Day always leaves me overwhelmed. The big oak tree out back is usually bare of leaves. The days are much shorter and of course the family argument on politics has left me with a headache I can’t quite shake. Other things on the list is the big fire down the road. How will I pay for Christmas presents and those ominous student loans.
Therapists aren’t immune to the holiday blues. However, we take steps to deal with our feelings. Here are a few of the steps I take when dealing with the holiday blues. As always please consult your doctor or ours.
- I sit in the sun. Wait what? People get vitamin D from food and sunlight. Some people have a higher risk of not getting enough vitamin D, especially persons of color and adults over 65. Sitting in the sun for 15 minutes a day helps vitamin D production.
- Exercise, I hit the gym at least twice week for an hour. If that’s too much time for you break it up into 15 minutes per day, enough to get your heart pumping. Not only does it help metabolize food better it also releases the feel good hormones norepinephrine, serotonin and endorphins which counteract the effects of depression and stress.
- I talk about it. Trust me when I say, I don’t have everything figured out. Good Therapists always have therapists. Luckily for me I work with an amazing staff of caring individuals who are always lending me an ear or an hour for me to process my weekly stress.
- Make time to eat without distractions. I’m usually running from session to session but I have to make time to eat at least once a day without distractions or stress. Mindful eating enjoying my food and being present with myself is how I learn to do what I need to do to get through the day. Sometimes that means waking up early before the kids do and eating a meal in peace.
- Positive Post its. I like to randomly put up post its of positive sayings that will generally help my mood. They are on my bathroom mirror, drinking coasters, my computer screen at work and my bedside lamp. If I need a little extra help getting started in the morning, I stick one to the back of my phone as well. I change them up weekly.