The holidays are a beautiful time but as the New Year begins, the aftermath may be less than pleasant. With all the parties, traveling, eating, drinking and general merriment from the past few months, many of us may be dealing with a post-holiday headache. But what if your pain is more than just a passing ache? For those with chronic pain, especially in the back and neck, the added stress of the holidays can make it worse. Our minds and bodies play off each other so when one is stressed, the other one usually is, too. For instance, have you have noticed how a little rest and relaxation can cut both the physical and mental pain of stress? Here a few tips to keep the post-holiday headache from getting the best of you:
'Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction ' posts
As a regular gym-goer, every year in January I experience what I call the “New Year’s Influx.” We’ve been plagued throughout the month of December with messages about New Year’s resolutions to live healthier lifestyles, of which physical activity is a vital component. As a result, the population of my gym grows exponentially as people act on their resolutions to exercise.
This gives me the chance to exercise my own New Years resolution: patience!
Whereas usually during my post-work workout, treadmills and ellipticals are easy to come by, now it’s a fight to claim one. And if you’re lucky enough to get one, you get the stink-eye if you’re on there for one second over the thirty minute limit. In spite of the added stress that this causes, as a health educator I always find it refreshing to see a mass recommitment to self-care. Inevitably though, by the end of February, the influx dies down. This phenomenon raises two questions:
Your mental and emotional health are just as important as physical health—it’s difficult to have one without the other. As we here in the Pacific Northwest face a very apparent shift in seasons from summer to fall, the concept of change and adjustment is all around. Learning to adjust to the change in weather offers important lessons in dealing with the continual changes we face in life.
If you’re a native or adopted Washingtonian, seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is probably not a new concept to you. This type of depression occurs during the fall and winter months when there is less natural sunlight. It is a yearly affliction that is slowly creeping up on many of our friends and neighbors. Treatments like light therapy and anti-depression medication can help, but what if your changes in mood isn’t SAD? What if your changes in mood aren’t from changes in season?
As we all know from our own personal life experiences, change happens and whether we know it or not, it’s happening all the time. Some changes are small and we are able to “go with the flow;” other times, change can really throw us for a loop. So how do you deal with life-altering change and make the most out of it?
There never seem to be enough hours in the day for many of us to get through all of our to-dos. But have you ever considered that the act of trying to cram so much work into such little time is actually counterproductive?
The summer months are often the time of year when many of us afford ourselves a vacation or at least some brief respites from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. A week—or even a few days—can make all the difference, yet so few of us recognize the value in this on a smaller scale. Maybe instead of working, working, working to cash in those vacation days as the weather gets warmer we should be focusing on giving ourselves more regular breaks throughout the day!