2006-11-28 00:00:00

Beat The Holiday Blues!

As the sun’s rays retreat for the season, the “winter blues” appear. The reason for the blues we feel during winter-time has many factors. The term seasonal affective disorder would lead us to believe that the season is to blame for our blues. The changing of the seasons and the lack of sun do play an important part in our mood, but there are other very important variables that change in the winter.

Study after study has shown the link between mood and exercise. By now it should come to no surprise that exercise improves your mood. During the winter months it is common to decrease our exercise due to weather and holiday stress. Living in the northwest, we are fortunate to have a wide variety of winter activities that are fun and great for the body and mind.

Idea #1

Take up a winter sport! They are plenty to choose from and many don’t require much skill to start.

Remember that there is more to winter sports than just downhill skiing. Mt Hood offers a number of cross-country ski trails that are located just off highway 26. Cross-country skiing is a great low impact exercise that is also very easy to learn. If you would like something a little slower, snow-shoeing is a great way to see Mt. Hood?s winter wonderland. Most of the outdoor stores in Portland rent cross-country skis and snow shoes. It is a good idea to rent equipment to see if it is something that would truly interest you before making the investment. Also, you might have a friend that wouldn’t mind loaning you some of their equipment.

We have all heard the old adage, “you are what you eat.” If you eat crap that is exactly how you will feel. During the holidays, the workplace becomes a junk food minefield with cookies and pastries at every turn. It is important to plan your junk food intake during the this time of year. I know this sounds very boring, but stick with me.

Idea #2

Plan out your junk food intake.

Look at the week that you have ahead of you. If you know that you have two holiday parties, happy hour with the coworkers and a brunch date with your friends, limit your junk food intake at work. The holiday parties will be much more fun if you don’t already have food guilt before you get to the door.

Idea #3

Supplementation can help through the holidays.

Vitamin B is known to decrease stress and increase energy. Adding a multi-B each morning will help fight the winter blues and put some pep in your step. Also, a recent study showed fish oils to be helpul in preventing depression, read more.

So far we have covered exercise and food, what else could be contributing to depression during the holidays? Maybe stress? The holidays are the most stressful time of year for many people. Financial stress, family stress, travel stress all come to a head this time of year. If your defenses are down, it is that much easier to let the little things pile up and before long your molehills are mountains.

Idea #4

Write out your commitment and prioritize.

It is easy to get overwhelmed with you think about at all your commitments at once, especially when your fighting for a parking spot at the mall with your screaming kids and the spilt latte on your lap.

Take time to list the items that need your attention and then rank them from most important to least. Not only will this put your mind at ease, but it makes it that much easier to delegate when you know what you have in ahead of you.

Idea #5

Plan a post holiday vacation.

It is much easier to make it through the stress of the holidays when you know that you have a vacation to look forward to. Plan a short vacation in the beginning of the New Year, even if it is a couple nights at the beach or in a cabin on Mt. Hood. This needs to be a time of relaxation and rejuvenation. You made it through another holiday season, treat yourself.

Lastly, enjoy this time with friends and family. Remember that there is only one 2006 holiday season, once it is gone there will never be another.

Happy Holidays!

Filed under: — @ 2006-11-28 00:00:00