Holidays and personal stress. The two go hand in hand. We shouldn’t be surprised—we have some strange expectations regarding the season when you stop to think about it. During the holiday season, we all juggle several tricky factors.
Most of us are starting to feel the effects of reduced daylight hours; that means less day-to-day energy and a tendency toward low-grade depression. We’re also out of routine at work and at home with holiday-related schedule interruptions. Meanwhile, all those sweet holiday treats mean increased sugar consumption and even more energy swings.
Those threats to physical health are compounded by social customs and emotional stressors. Gift-giving traditions can be fun but can also cause financial stress. The holidays also remind us of people who are no longer in our lives. That cumulative grief can be very taxing and make us feel isolated. Finally, many family gatherings involve difficult relationships. Rather than feeling safe and nurtured, many feel anxious when they go home for the holidays.
And yet… people expect each other to feel cheerful during the holiday season. Given the myriad of challenges involved, that’s a very strange expectation indeed! It’s no wonder that, for so many, this time of year is not a season of peace. Rather it is a time of heightened personal and family crisis.
You’re not alone in that experience. But what if you broke the cycle? It is possible to be honest about the crisis and begin giving some real, lasting, and valuable gifts this year.
- For Yourself: An investment in your health and wellness through a Full Evaluation of your own brain health
- For a Loved One: A consultation to learn about dietary changes that could nourish both brain and body
- For all Your Friends: One of Dr. Amen’s brain health DVDs and a supportive nudge to take brain health seriously
These are practical actions you can take to invest in the health of all your loved ones, beginning with yourself. A year from now, perhaps you could honestly say you feel centered and confident, able to find and cultivate real peace in the midst of the holidays. That kind of life change is not a lofty impossibility. The question is simply whether you are ready. Are you done with “crisis mode” and ready to take the steps to begin living differently?
This holiday season, make one small but life-changing shift: face the crisis and lay hold of it. Acknowledge the reality of the emotional state, the family pattern, the fact that this trauma is affecting your life and the lives of those around you. You may also need to acknowledge that you’ve tried to get help elsewhere in the past, but been disappointed.
Don’t let that discourage you from taking brain health seriously. The situation is bigger than you, and you will need support. We invite you to reach out once more.