From Dr. Jane's Notebook
Ahhh... A New Year
Ahhh! A new year is once again upon us. For some, this represents a new beginning. To
others, a new beginning may be just over the hill. Whichever the perspective, it is
certainly a time for slowing down...and this down-shifting of gears may feel to some folks
like a bit of a let-down.
For those who may, at unforeseen moments, be hit by the winter doldrums, I recommend
- Take a hint from the weather: Be Flexible! January is a time when
weather takes over. One's approach can therefore be that of trying to paddle upstream or
riding the current as it flows. Recognizing that winter storms will have their way, you
may want to stock your home with necessary survival items (as opposed to shopping in the
snow) and include some indoor games on the list (jigsaw puzzles, Scrabble, etc.).
- Make a Winter Plan for Yourself. There's no time like the new year to
set new goals for yourself. These should be more than resolutions that begin with the
words "I won't..." Rather, I recommend planning for self-improvement, like
learning a new skill or hobby.
- Establish an indoor exercise plan. How easy it is to "forget"
to exercise when its cold or slippery outside. But, for the sake of your waistline, muscle
tone, and mental heatlh, it's still important to exercise several times each week. And
when your children laugh at you for doing indoor aerobics to the videotape recorder,
simply force them to join in. It's very hard for them to laugh when they're winded!
- Improve the inside of your home or living environment. Take this
opportunity to make home improvements on the inside. Paint or redecorate that room you've
been meaning to get to. You will be delighted with the fruits of your labor.
- Recognize depression in yourself or your family members and know when to get
professional help. Depression is so virulent in nature, that we often fail to
recognize it. We are especially apt to discount the signs of depression or social
withdrawal when the weather is bleak. But with the alarming rise in suicide and suicidal
attempts, this is a season in which we need to be especially caring and concerned about
those around us who seem unhappy.
This winter, take time to enjoy each day. Move a little slower, a little calmer, and
certainly take time...for yourself.
ęCopyright 1995, Jane R. Rosen-Grandon, All Rights Reserved.
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Last Updated October 24, 1998 by Gary M. Grandon,