Handling Mental health during the holidays

Speaker 1: Welcome back. The holidays aren’t always happy for everyone. The season can often trigger memories of loss and sadness and even stress, but there are ways to manage the Holiday Blues and hear with some suggestions. Is Dr. Erica Steele from Holistic Family Practice in Virginia Beach, Dr. Steele, welcome.

Speaker 2: Oh, thank you so much for having me.

Speaker 1: Absolutely. Okay. So why do people struggle with the holiday blues? I imagine there are a bunch of reasons.

Speaker 2: There are, and especially this year has especially unique, right? Because we have the pandemic, people are coming out of that. There’s pandemic fatigue. People have definitely experienced loss of loved ones. So this year may be a little bit different for a lot of.

Speaker 1: Yeah, I can see that even teenagers at my house are going through it a little bit. What are some of the symptoms that, the people out there and myself should be looking.

Speaker 2: So a lot of apathy listlessness, which is just I’m not motivated. I don’t wanna do anything. I don’t wanna get out of the couch. A lot of times people don’t realize they’re depressed, right? They don’t realize that they’re not feeling well. So oftentimes it’s important for someone outside of themselves to say, Hey, are you feeling okay? How are you doing? You’re not like your. Just to clue that in and say, being self-aware in terms of how a person’s feeling and what a person’s thinking.

Speaker 1: So what are some ideas, Erica, that you can give us, that people can do to get through those holiday blue?

Speaker 2: So my first tip I would say is not to overschedule, right? So often we are given, we’ve got holiday party, we have this to go to, that to go to, and all of that is really exciting and fun. But sometimes we also need to schedule time for ourselves, right? April included and so not Overscheduling is really important and necessary for overall. Also to excessive sugar and alcohol. We know that there’s a lot of alcohol at a lot of different events as well as pastries and sugary things. All of those things can impact the neurotransmitters in the brain, which are the chemicals in your brain.

And so that regulate serotonin, your happy hormones, as well as dopamine responses too. So those are your motivators. So when you go through a lot of sugar, when you’re drinking and eating and that sort of thing, it can send you through this yo-yo cycle up. And. The other thing I would mention is setting a healthy boundary, right?

No means no. If you don’t feel like going out, you can say, You know what? Not tonight. Not today. Especially with family members and even too, if you don’t feel comfortable, let’s say hugging a certain family member or. Being with certain people. I know there’s definitely conversations around vaccinations, et cetera.

If you don’t feel comfortable with certain people around you for whatever reason, it’s always important to say, not right now in a loving way. And of course, our movement and exercise, getting movement into the body can really help endorphins and help you just to feel better overall. And lastly, even if you don’t feel great about.

Journaling can really help you just be able to get it all out right in journal. I normally say just open up the page and just vomit all over it. Say whatever it is you need to say, even if you don’t feel comfortable sharing that with other people.

Speaker 1: Oh, I call that an emotional vomit. Okay. I know you gotta promote your upcoming online course. Tell me about it. It’s about 30 days of emotional.

Speaker 2: Yeah. I just continue to see in my practice that people are really not emotionally intelligent and they don’t really know what to do with this thing called emotions, right? And that’s for women, and also men too. And so I have a course that I design that’s delivered through an app every day you get tip. And tricks to be able to help you manage your emotions, especially as we go into the new year. Oh,

Speaker 1: that is so good. Thank you so much for those tips. It’ll get a lot of people through the holidays and happy holidays to you.

Speaker 2: Awesome. Same to you. Take care.

Speaker 1: You too.

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