|As the expectations pile up, so does the stress.|
The buck stops here. Consider four simple tips to stave off the holiday blues.
1. Keep it Simple
No one is a superhero. Everyone has a kryptonite. Too often, caregivers bottle their humanity under a façade of cooking for mom, cleaning for dad, writing to Sue and shopping for Joe. Carol Bursack, editor-in-chief of ElderCareLink, advises, “Learn to detach from the negative feedback you may get from others because of changes you are making … You set boundaries by telling others what you can and can’t do … Acknowledging your loved ones’ views, and telling them you love them, but simply can’t do it all, generally helps.”
Never forget the soothing power of routine. Reading the newspaper, baking bread, sweeping the floors – these seemingly mundane tasks are valuable rest stops on the harried holiday Interstate.
2. Stay Healthy
|Maintain an active lifestyle and consider caloric intake.|
There is no law that excludes vegetables and fruits from the holiday dinner table. Especially since folic acid in broccoli and other vegetables can diminish depression. Berries and cashews are also able to reduce oxidative stress caused by free radicals. Complex carbohydrates, found in whole grains, even release serotonin, the “happy hormone.”
In contrast, dramatic mood “crashes” – not to mention a drooping gut – usually follow sugary sweets. In one study conducted by the Calorie Control Council, the average American consumes more than 3,000 calories in a single Thanksgiving dinner, as much food as a 16-year-old boy wolfs down in an entire day.
3. Tech Tools
|Leverage mobile technology against the holiday fever.|
If a picture is worth a thousand words, why not have both? Try talking to family members over VoIP voice-chat software like Skype. Swap stories, tell jokes, and make funny faces using the camera’s special effects.
Leverage mobile technology against the holiday fever. Download a yoga or meditation app that present poses, conduct classes, and even provide the soothing narration of a trained yoga instructor. Put together a calming music playlist – maybe Nat King Cole and Bing Cosby? Or use a smartphone app that can monitor heart rate and sleep cycle. As HealthITJobs.com states on their blog, “mobile apps have provided an entirely new way to take control of our health; just remember to always be wary of apps from untrusted sources, as your personal data could be at risk.”
4. Social Support
|Keep your loved ones active and involved.|
Because in truth, the holidays have nothing to do with Black Friday specials or Christmas cruises and happiness is best when shared.
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