I’ve been in the holiday mood lately. Nothing puts one in the spirit like a nice trip back home to NC where it’s frosty and cold, and where one can get decent country ham biscuits. Maybe ham biscuits don’t spell seasonal cheer to you, but Bojangles (go look it up if you’re uninitiated) sure does put a jingle in my step.
Now that I’ve returned from all that pork goodness, I need to get back on track with my goals for spiritual, mental, and physical health and wellness. I’m really excited to finish a writing project I’m working on, and to tackle some of those late-night-pregnancy-cheeseburger pounds I’m carting around with me. Guess I’ll be having carrots while I’m burning the midnight oil, but after so many months of gastronomic debauchery, I’m actually looking forward to it!
If you too have put down the biscuits and are heading fresh into the New Year, here are a few tips to get you on the right track:
1) Be just a face in the crowd—One of the most overlooked and terrible factors in both clinical depression and the more garden variety blues, is a sense of social isolation. I spend a lot of my time in the therapy room attempting to get my wonderful clients to take their show on the road and form meaningful connections. One of my favorite websites is www.meetup.com. On this site, you can find local groups for whatever you’re into. Really, I’m not kidding. There are groups for everything from people who like to play Scrabble to pug dog enthusiasts. Most of the meetups happen in public places. So, if you get there and think the rest of the folks look like total dorks, you can pretend you were just there for coffee and slink away unnoticed. But meetup.com isn’t the only place to look for new chums. You can try local religious organizations, your gym, or even volunteering.
2) Tell it to me straight Doc—I am always advising clients to get a routine physical. This is especially important for women, because our physical well being and mental health are so closely linked. Depression and anxiety may be due to life circumstances or an organic mental illness. But, sometimes they can be linked to your method of birth control, thyroid problems, abrupt weaning of your infant, postpartum mood changes, or menopause. Don’t suffer in silence—let your health care professionals help you chart a course to feeling better.
3) Rev the engine—You deserve a partnership that is firing on all cylinders. Schedule a session of couples therapy that is designed to reinvigorate your union rather than get mired down in problems. Let your therapist know that you would like to examine what works and get some tips on how to make it even better. I am amazed that couples wait until their relationship is sounding its death knell before coming in to see me. If you will do preventative maintenance on your car, why not on your love life?
Happy New Year friends! Let’s make it one filled with satisfaction, contentment, and an improved sense of self-worth.
Your Partner in Healing,