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Chase holiday blues away, frequently if needed

Baking cookies, have a small party with friends and let the children help out.
Baking cookies, have a small party with friends and let the children help out.
Photo by Mary MacIntyre

Chase holiday blues away, frequently if needed

If Black Friday was any indication demonstrating how Americans approach the holidays: watch out! Stress factors can easily soar during the holidays. Greed, fear, and competition fuel adrenal overwhelm which then triggers a cascade of other bio-chemical reactions.

Add job anxiety, increased food prices, higher utility bills, care taking family members and many New Mexicans are feeling chronically tired, sometimes moody, and perhaps overwhelmed. When the cart is full it is easily tipped over.

Some of the population often become blue during the holidays. Other experience SAD, an emotional depression triggered by increased darkness. Yes, visit mental health practioners when you need too. Avoid eating excessive amounts of sweets, as they add too sugar crashes which can influence moods too. Unsweetened hot chocolate could help raise one's mood and has antioxidant benefits.

Stock up on feel good experiences. Consider these options:

  1. Get a chair massage. For under $15 you can let the massage therapist work out your tensions. Chair massage therapists frequently work at local health food stores. In Santa Fe NM you can visit Whole Foods, Natural Grocers, and the Co-op for massages.
  2. Meditate or pray a lot. Both can help you relax, breathe more easily, and gain a fresh perspective.
  3. Practice slow moving. Yoga, Tai chi, and walking all can uplift the emotions. Moving slowly increases physical awareness, appreciation of the world around you (especially nature's beauty) and leaves the harried pace and competition in the dust.
  4. Visit friends and family. Play games, tell stories, and relax.
  5. Appreciate yourself and others. Find gratitude in your heart and share it.

Write down your own list and swap with friends. Imagine 100 ways to feel good, help others, and enjoy the holidays. These can be tiny exercises that take only a moment or two. Easy as smiling at a stranger. The list will be your cheat sheet when life bulldozes over you and suddenly you need to chase the blues away.

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