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Publication: Diet Buddy
Holiday Blues?

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         Diet Buddy - Monday, December 11, 2006

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Holiday Blues?

Hi There Buddies...

I hope everyone had a great weekend! For those of us living 
in the Midwest we seem to be experiencing unusually early 
and cold winter temperatures that Mother Nature usually 
reserves for January and February. If you're the type of 
person that enjoys the winter with it's blanket of snow and 
outdoor activities like skiing and sledding then I say, go 
for it! But if you're like some of us...staring out the 
window wondering what happened to the green grass, I say, 
this too shall pass...brrrrrr!

The holidays can be a difficult time for many people and 
while it's a time to be with family and friends, the season 
also can cause much stress and fatigue. There are increased 
demands on your time, your patience, oh yeah, and your 

The holidays are suppose to be a joyful time of good cheer 
and optimistic hopes for the coming year, but it is not 
unusual for many of us to feel sad or lonely during the 
holiday period...a condition called "holiday blues" or 
"holiday depression".

Let's try making the most of the holidays without letting 
ourselves or others down this season by following some of 
these great tips: 

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Take Time for Yourself!

*  Try making a schedule, and figure out how best to 
   maximize your time.

*  Learn how to say "no" to commitments that you don't 
   think you can manage. 

*  Relax, take a walk, collect your thoughts.

*  Reflect on what the holidays mean to you personally. 

*  Exercise three times a week.

You Can Party - Healthfully!

Be mindful that high fat, high sugar foods can cause 
depression, and/or hyperactive stressful behaviors in some 
people.  According to the International Center for 
Nutritional Research, eating a lot of sugar and fats and 
increased alcohol consumption may cause illness (intestinal 
toxemia, i.e. diarrhea) and vitamin deficiencies.

Instead, try to eat fiber foods like fresh vegetables, 
salads, and fruit; consume smaller portions of protein; 
drink a lot of water; reduce alcohol consumption; and 
allow at least three hours after eating before going to 

When hosting a gathering, make healthful food and drink 
alternatives available to your guests. Salsa is a great 
substitute for cheese dip or sour cream. Sorbet beats ice 
cream, and ginger ale and sparkling cider are festive 
holiday beverages.  Plan games and activities for your 
guests, and be quick to make introductions.  As a guest, 
reach for pretzels and sliced veggies, not chips.

Afraid of looking like a wet blanket? - nurse a glass of 
lemon-lime soda with cranberry juice - and top it with a 
cherry!  Yummy! 

The Truth about Holiday Drinking!

While alcohol may make you feel less depressed temporarily, 
abusive drinking will only create problems.

Did you know...

*  A couple of handfuls of potato chips can have over 10 
   grams of fat?

*  Opting for chestnuts instead of peanuts saves you 13 
   grams of fat?

*  If you air-pop your popcorn, you can enjoy it guilt-

*  Make a budget plan and stick with it.

*  Gifts made from the heart are priceless. Make someone 
   dinner or bake them cookies or offer to babysit.

*  Run errands for a friend in lieu of a present, or just 
   visit with them - your time is a precious gift.

Sure-Fire Holiday Stress-Reducers!

*  Exercise three times a week.

*  Avoid caffeine.

*  Try something new.

*  If you feel bad, don't ignore your feelings - talk with 
   someone you trust, volunteer your time to community 

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The DO's of Managing "Holiday Blues"!

DO follow the three basics for good health:

-  eat right

-  get plenty of rest

-  exercise regularly

DO set realistic goals:

-  organize your time

-  make lists

-  prioritize

-  make a budget and follow it

DO let go of the past and create new or different ways to 

DO allow yourself to feel sad, lonely or melancholy - these 
are normal feelings, particularly at holiday times.

DO something for someone else.

DO enjoy activities that are free.

DO spend time with people who care about you.

DO spend time with new people or a different set of friends 
or family.

DO contact someone with whom you have lost touch.

DO give yourself a break - plan to prepare (or buy) one 
special meal, purchase one special gift, and take in one 
special event.  The rest can be ordinary, but will seem 
special because of the time of year and people you're with. 

DO treat yourself as a special holiday guest.

The DON'Ts of Managing "Holiday Blues"!

Don't drink too much alcohol.

Don't overindulge in holiday foods, especially those that 
are high in sugar and fat.

Don't have unrealistic expectations of yourself and others. 

Don't dwell on the past.

Don't focus on what you don't have.

Don't spend money you don't have.

Remember that the "holiday blues" can be manageable. Brief 
periods of sadness and stress at this time are normal for 
most people. If, however, you are experiencing serious 
prolonged depressive problems - such as hopelessness, loss 
of energy, significant appetite and sleep changes - seek 
help from a professional.

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Did You Know ???

Holiday depression may occur at any holiday or vacation 
time, but most commonly happens during the December 
holidays when, it may seem, just about everyone in the 
world is celebrating in some way. There are many causes 
for the holiday blues, and the symptoms may mimic clinical 
depression.  While they may be intense and unsettling, 
holiday blues are usually short-lived, lasting for a few 
days to a few weeks prior to or just after the holiday.  
The good news is, holiday blues usually subside after the 
holiday season is over and daily routines are resumed.

Do the "holiday blues" have you down and out? Why not take 
a moment and share with your fellow buddies in our Diet 
Buddy Forum at... Diet Buddy Forum 

Have a great week everyone !!!

Disclaimer: Since I am not a medical professional any 
statements in this column are strictly based on research I 
have done and should not be misconstrued as medical advice. 

          GopherCentral's Question of the Week 

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bring them down? 

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