A 30 Day Plan for Conquering Depression.
Halloween is over and you’re overdosed on sweets. The holidays are looming and you know what that means. Depression!
It is no mystery that depression is always worse during the holidays. And, there are many reasons. I want to talk about a few of these reasons and how you can avoid the inevitable.
First, SAD. Not sad. Seasonal Affective Disorder. I’ve talked about this in the Physician’s Fact before. Basically, as the days grow shorter and we abandon Daylight Savings Time, we are exposed to less and less natural light during our day. I work in the basement of a hospital and this time of the year is very depressing for me. I drive to work in darkness and spend the entire day in a dark, dim room looking at a computer monitor. When I leave in the evening, it is already dark. My chances of seeing sunlight are minimal, if not nonexistent! The reasons for the creeping depression are biological. Less natural sunlight causes changes in brain chemistry and bring on a feeling of depression.
How can you avoid this? Take a walk in the middle of the day. Even if you just walk outside for five minutes two or three times during the day, it will go a long way to avoiding SAD. Invest in a natural light source light bulb for your work area. Studies have shown these types of light sources are helpful. And, finally, during the weekend get outside and soak up as much light as you can even if it is through the windows of a car as you drive around during inclement weather.
Second, unrealistic expectations. You have to plan holiday get togethers. You have to get together gifts. You have to show up and be on your best behavior for family and friends. The expectations can be overwhelming.
Don’t give in to these unrealistic expectations! Plan ahead. Learn to say “no”. Keep things very simple. Put together simple hand made gifts such as cookies or pastries instead of standing in line on Black Friday to get those items on sale. Try and be honest with you friends and family even if you have to find professional help to prepare you for the get together. Don’t forget the power of working with your counseling and making good choices before things go bad. Again, plan ahead! Be proactive and don’t let these overwhelming situations overtake you and pull you under.
Third, don’t overdo it on food and sweets. Sugar and high fat and high carbohydrate foods can lead to depression. Keep the excessive foods in check. You can still enjoy the occasional holiday treat. Just don’t overdo it! Again, plan ahead. And, don’t forget how important it is to move! Remember how important exercise can be. Studies have shown that brisk exercise such as walking thirty minutes a day, five days a week can be as effective as anti-depressant medication.
In summary, plan ahead. Make a plan! Be prepared! Be proactive! And, this year, you can have a holiday season in which depression doesn’t wreck the party!
Another suggestion: Attend our Conquering Depression Seminar at Brookwood Baptist Church on November 14th from 9 to Noon. Find out more information and on how you can register on our Seminar page.