Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, and the list goes on, each reminding us of the joy of the season. But what if you don’t feel joyous? Is there something wrong with you? No! There are many reasons not to feel giddy with the joy of the season. You may have lost a loved one this year, or you may be facing a problem for which you see no solution.
What to do? First, know that suicide is not the answer! Despite what is reported, many people do not choose this time of year to die. An article written by Denise-Marie Ordway states: “Two-thirds of news stories that discussed suicide and the holiday season last winter perpetuated the false belief that suicides rise during the holidays, finds a new analysis from the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg Public Policy Center.” ( December 14, 2018)
Where do women reach in deep to come out on top? How does one find the strength to say one more Merry Christmas and mean it? In an article in USA Today> News > 2018/12/17 Blue Christmas: How to cope with holiday depression, grief, several suggestions are offered:
- Don’t set yourself up for a heart ache. Don’t overvalue happiness; instead seek the wonder and joy of the small things in your life that have given you joy all year long.
- Cut down the media that is unrealistic. Not everyone gets home for Christmas; all Christmas dinners are not family ones; piles of presents are not what makes the joy. Budget and stick to it. Not doing so increases stress during and after the season.
- Create your plan and stick to it. Arrange to call a friend and write down subjects to talk about. Don’t isolate yourself. Don’t avoid the parties but instead limit your time rather than skip them. On the other hand, you may need to say NO. (Young moms this is GOOD advice.)
- Have realistic expectations. Most TV ads do not reflect real life. Don’t sit and wait on a call that won’t come. Don’t set your heart on that diamond you know you can’t afford. Perfect holidays include the priceless gift of love.
- Plan something you enjoy. It doesn’t need to be grand; maybe grab that book you have been going to read; set up a comfortable environment to enjoy it in. Share the gift of yourself with someone.
- Have a safety net. Know which family member to call or how to get to a professional if you need to. Know where you have that phone number.
- Finally, don’t abandon healthy habits. Sweets can make you feel sluggish. Stick to the veggies and water intake you have been working on all year. Not only will you feel comfortable in that new outfit, but you will be proud of yourself and a super example to your family.
Roasted Chicken and Sweet Potato Salad
- 2 1/2 lb. sweet potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/4 c. seasoned rice vinegar
- 2 tbsp. toasted sesame oil
- 1 tbsp. miso paste
- 1 tbsp. finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
- 1/4 tsp. pepper
- 20 oz. mixed greens
- 2 rotisserie chicken-breast halves (about 8 oz.), sliced
- 1 avocado, sliced
- Sesame seeds, for garnish
- On large rimmed baking sheet, toss sweet potatoes with olive oil and salt; roast in 450⁰F oven 25 minutes or until tender.
- Whisk together rice vinegar, sesame oil, miso, ginger and pepper.
- Among four plates layered with 5 oz. mixed greens, divide sweet potatoes, rotisserie chicken and avocado. Drizzle with miso vinaigrette; top with sesame seeds.
Nutritional Information (per serving): About 480 calories, 21 g protein, 48 g carbs, 24 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 11 g fiber, 990 mg sodium.