Parkridge Offers Tips For Navigating The Holidays In A Healthy Way

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

While many people enjoy the holidays, there are a significant number of individuals who find The Most Wonderful Time of the Year to be a time of stress, anxiety and depression. Allyson Bowman, Adult Social Services Coordinator at Parkridge Valley Adult and Senior Campus, offers a Top 10 list of coping strategies and tips to navigate the demands of the holiday season in a healthy way.

1.       Let go of PERFECT. “People put pressure on themselves to engineer the perfect holiday – the perfect meals, gifts, decorations, etc.  Manage your expectations and set reasonable goals for yourself,” said Ms. Bowman. “Your family and friends are going to remember the time they spent with you, not what your house looked like or how your presents were wrapped.”

2.       Budget Wisely. “Take a few minutes to sit down and calculate what you can comfortably spend for gifts and other holiday expenses, and make every effort to stay within your limits,” said Ms. Bowman. “This will keep you from stressing about accumulated debt after the holidays are over.”

3.       Practice healthy habits as much as possible. “There is so much going on during the holidays that it can be easy to let your sleep and exercise routines fall by the wayside. Make a concerted effort to stay active and get adequate rest.”  Bowman recommends activities that combine an opportunity to get moving with a holiday celebration. “There are several holiday-themed fun runs and walks in our area – consider making one of those activities part of your family tradition.” 

4.       Take a breather when you need it. Build downtime into your holiday schedule – “It’s important to take some time for yourself when needed,” said Ms. Bowman. “Do yoga, read a book, go for a walk, take a nap – whatever works best to recharge your batteries.”

5.       Delegate. “Don’t be afraid to share responsibility for planning and execution of holiday events and activities with friends and family,” said Ms. Bowman.  “You’ll be less likely to end up feeling overwhelmed.”

6.       Make new memories. “Don’t be afraid to swap out an old holiday tradition with a new activity that works better for you. Circumstances change, and it’s important to be flexible and create traditions that work for you,” said Ms. Bowman.

7.       Give back. “Volunteering during the holidays is a great way to socialize and feel good about helping others,” said Ms. Bowman.

8.       Cultivate patience. “When family and friends get together, there are many opportunities for misunderstandings and disagreements,” said Ms. Bowman. “Just remember that you have come together to celebrate a holiday, not argue endlessly. If you find yourself getting upset, try to agree to disagree, or remove yourself from the situation. This will make the holidays easier not only for you, but those around you as well.”

9.       Mourn if you need to. If the holidays bring up memories of loved ones, allow yourself to feel sadness and grief. “It’s okay to mourn if you have lost a loved one or if you can’t be with your loved one during the holidays,” said Ms. Bowman. “It’s normal and healthy to feel sadness – unexpressed emotions can be the most destructive.” Give yourself permission to feel those feelings, then take the steps to move past them – either by getting out and doing something active, reminiscing about happy times with friends and family, or by doing something for someone else. Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help from your friends and loved ones if you need it. 

10.   Seek help if you need it. “If you have significant feelings of anxiety, irritability or sadness that last for several days, seek professional help,” said Ms. Bowman. “Parkridge Valley has a 24-hour RESPOND hotline staffed by medical professionals who can give advice on treatment for your condition or refer you to a mental health provider.”


Senator Alexander Discusses Seriousness Of Ebola Virus

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said that the nation’s leaders “must take the deadly, dangerous threat of Ebola as seriously as they take ISIL.” Alexander said the spread of the disease requires a more urgent response from the United States and other countries. “This is one of the most explosive, dangerous, deadly epidemics in modern times. The nations of the world know what it ... (click for more)

Erlanger Offers Classes And Events For Sept. 22-25

Erlanger offers online childbirth education class.  The online class is an easy-to-understand  interactive program that includes more than 70 videos, animated illustrations, downloadable PDF files, review quizzes and information specific to Erlanger East and Erlanger Baroness birthing services.  By choosing the online childbirth program, participants will have access ... (click for more)

City Receives $400,000 Federal Grant To Study Passenger Train Service

The United States Department of Transportation has announced Chattanooga has received a $400,000 Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant to study the potential use of existing railways for a passenger rail system in Chattanooga. There were 72 awards announced in 46 states and Washington, D.C. Out of numerous grant applications across Tennessee, ... (click for more)

Former Assistant Police Chief Eidson Not Charged In Shooting Of Stepson On Englewood Avenue

Former Chattanooga Police Department Assistant Chief Kirk Eidson was not charged in the shooting of stepson Robert Ingle, 18, on Sunday morning in North Chattanooga. However, Ingle was charged with domestic assault and vandalism. In the incident shortly after 9 a.m. at 1049 Englewood Ave., Mr. Eidson said Ingle came to the house asking him to take him to their other house ... (click for more)

Dirt Decision At Camp Jordan May Come Back To Haunt East Ridge Councilmen

Wow. I thought the arrival of Bass Pro Shop would help bring East Ridge back to a position of prominence in the Chattanooga area, but the Council proved otherwise last night.  To the council - There is a reason that the developers want that dirt: It's valuable . You currently own it and the developer wants it. Bass Pro has already agreed to set up shop. They were going ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Goodbye To My Scooter

The month of August turned out to be unkind, with my dog, my favorite aunt and my magnificent mother all dying within three weeks’ time. As I finally begin to push out the three newest dents in my soul, my habit has been to write something akin to a goodbye note to those I have loved. I’m not ready for Aunt Martha and Mother yet – not by a stretch -- but I remembered Scooter with ... (click for more)