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Nashville, Ark. –
The holidays are here! Christmas music can be heard everywhere you go! And there’s
decorating, baking, cooking, and shopping, shopping, shopping to be done! While the
holidays are supposed to be a time of peace, joy, and love – we all too often seem
to be angry, stressed, and blue. Why does this happen and how can we avoid it?
The primary reason for holiday stress and depression is unrealistic expectations.
From the time we are children, we start to build up expectations of what Christmas
should be. In the media we see perfect images of family, friends, food, parties, and
gifts. We expect the “Norman Rockwell” Christmas.
What we fail to realize is the media images are only staged scenes. There
is nothing wrong with falling a little short of perfection. We really don’t have to
keep up with the Jones and our Christmas lights do not have to out-shine every house
in our neighborhood.
To help keep your holiday expectations reasonable, try these ideas this
One of the best ways to combat holiday depression is by participating in activities
with other people. Visit a nursing home; go to a holiday service at church. It’s much
harder to be depressed when you’re doing something worthwhile with people you enjoy.
Don’t feed depression by dwelling on it, but do listen respectfully to your depressed
feelings and see if they have an important message for you. Maybe your depression
is calling out for a major change in a relationship or in your lifestyle.
To a large degree, the thoughts we choose determine our feelings. Count your blessings,
feed yourself spiritually, and strive to maintain an undaunted, positive attitude.
You want to be realistic about your situation, but, at the same time, look at what
you have rather than what you don’t have.
Seeking help with depression does not mean that you are crazy or that something is
wrong with you. It doesn’t mean that you can’t handle your own problems. Getting help
when it’s needed is a sign of strength and intelligence, and not of weakness. Successful
people know when to seek expert advice. In fact, some very intelligent people battled
with depression: Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill, Vincent van Gogh, and Emily Dickinson,
to name just a few.
Most depression is relatively minor, but sometimes it can be quite serious and may
have its roots in a treatable biochemical imbalance. If you are experiencing extreme
or extended bouts of depression, get professional help as soon as possible. Generally
speaking, depression responds well to treatment, and usually does so in a fairly short
time if treated early.
So, this holiday season, relax and enjoy the most wonderful time of the year so that
you can have yourself a holly, jolly Christmas this year! For more information on
family issues, check out our website, www.uaex.uada.edu and click on Arkansas Families. There is a wealth of information on the website,
plus the opportunity to sign up for a weekly e-mail tip on self-help, parenting, and/or
marriage issues. You may also call the Howard County Extension Service at 870-845-7517
or visit our office located on the second floor of the courthouse.
Let me remind you to check out the Howard County Bake Sale which will
be held Friday, December 18 beginning at 9:00 a.m. in front of Western Auto. All proceeds
will go to benefit Howard County EHC educational programs here in the county.
Recipe of the Week
Here is a great holiday recipe that is sure to get you in the Christmas
mood. This recipe was shared by Joshua Rodgers, a 4-H member of Teen Leaders and Sharp
Shooters. Joshua says this is his favorite holiday recipe.
1 48 oz. pineapple juice
1 gallon Apple cider
6 oz. frozen, undiluted orange juice concentrate
27 Whole cloves
8 cinnamon sticks
Put all ingredients in a crock pot and simmer. Put leftovers in the refrigerator
and heat one cup at a time.
By Jean Ince County Extension Agent - Staff ChairThe Cooperative Extension ServiceU of A System Division of Agriculture
Media Contact: Jean Ince County Extension Agent - Staff Chair U of A Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service 421 N. Main St, Nashville AR 71852 (870) 845-7517 firstname.lastname@example.org
The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative
action institution. If you require a reasonable accommodation to participate or need
materials in another format, please contact your County Extension office (or other
appropriate office) as soon as possible. Dial 711 for Arkansas Relay. The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to all eligible persons
regardless of race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin,
religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any
other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.