Lady depressed in the holidays

Holiday Blues? Let’s Change the Palette

Naturopathic practitioner provides simple tips to help take stress reduction into your own hands.

It is not just children who look forward to Holidays all year. 78 percent of Americans say that the holidays often bring them happiness, 75 percent report they experience love, 60 percent often feel in high spirits, 40 percent feel more connection, and 25 percent are energized.

That does not mean that Holiday stress isn’t real. All the demands of extra time for shopping, travel and merrymaking can strain schedules that may already be overloaded.

When asked about the least favorite thing about the holidays, answers range from money to family to bad weather and commercialism.

Some in particular feel the stress of cooking and preparing for family dinners and parties with friends and co-workers. Sixty-one percent of women report at least some stress as a result. Irritability, anger, sadness, and loneliness are the negative emotions most often identified.

Americans are givers. They often stretch themselves financially to provide the toys and gifts on everyone’s list. So it is not surprising that the top stressors have been time, money, commercialism and family.

Add a pandemic and you have a new mental stress landscape for 2022 and beyond.

Anne Dunev, Ph.D., ACN, is a Naturopathic practitioner in Chicago with more than twenty-five years of field experience. “I have learned to predict health outcomes based on the confidence of the patient that they can get well. High stress levels undermine that confidence. Fear about the health risks for oneself and one’s family have been as potentially debilitating as illness itself, if that fear has led to substance abuse, depression, lethargy or hopelessness,” states Dunev.

There are many common-sense remedies such as eating healthy foods that include protein, Omega 3 fats (fish and flax oil) vegetables, and fruits. These are simple steps to help promote mental and physical health. Add restful sleep, moderate exercise, and supportive friends as lifestyle basics.

Because mental and emotional stress can affect both our lives and our physical health, Dr. Dunev researched direct approaches to the mind/body connection. For the best explanation, she cites the book, Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health by New York Times best-selling author L. Ron Hubbard. She suggests taking stress reduction into your own hands. “Dianetics gives clear insight into how the mind works. Understanding how the mind works can, in itself, relieve stress. While recent studies have shown psychotropic medications to be unpredictable and even dangerous, Dianetics offers a drug-free technique that can be done at home to eliminate the source of stresses. Drugging the brain is not the answer to the problems of the mind.”

Experts agree that trying to ignore symptoms of stress is not advisable. Holidays may bring closeness and celebration, but this can be coupled with an increased burden to those who are already stretched thin. “We can all use a little more understanding of ourselves and others,” suggests Dunev. “What better time to discover that than the holidays?”