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Natural Awakenings Dallas -Fort Worth Metroplex Edition

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Find and Maintain Balance During the Holidays

Dec 05, 2014 01:11AM ● By Stephanie McClung

Stephanie McClung

It is possible to find and maintain balance in life, even during the holiday season—it may require some planning and effort, but the results are worth it. Anxiety peaks for many reasons during the winter months and seasonal affective disorder is in full swing with the shorter days. For those with ADHD symptoms, it can be very difficult to maintain focus during this holiday season, and a little bit of planning and prioritizing can help.

Physical: Drink lots of water. The brain is the first organ to feel the effects of dehydration. Headache and fatigue can often be relieved with hydration. Balance holiday splurges with healthy choices. Sweets, fast food and party treats can aggravate symptoms of anxiety or depression. Fruits, vegetables and nuts give the body energy and stamina. Plan enough time for rest and sleep. Resist the urge to burn the candle at both ends and forgo sleep during the holidays. Lack of sleep can affect productivity, relationships and susceptibility to illness in the winter.

Emotional: Prioritize time and activities to leave time for us. Understand that it is okay to say no. It is important to take time to recharge often. Plan quality time with family. Spend time alone with a spouse or significant other. Go for a walk, visit a coffee shop or go out to dinner. Make memories with family during the holidays. Enjoy festivals, cooking together, playing games, doing crafts and maybe starting a new family tradition. Even if feeling down about being unable to be with family during the holidays, make plans with friends. Resist the urge to stay home and withdraw. Plan a gift exchange, pot luck dinner or game night, or gather a group to look at Christmas lights.

Spiritual: Spend time focusing on being thankful this holiday season. Consider and share something every day to be thankful for. Focus on the meaning of the season and strive to make this season meaningful for everyone we touch.

This is also the season of giving. Make it a priority to practice generosity. Find a place to serve those in need, donate to the many organizations reaching out to the community, and offer a helping hand or a courtesy to an unsuspecting person during the holidays.

Dr. Stephanie McClung, Th.D., is the proprietor of Dallas Brain Changers, located at 10000 N. Central Expy., Ste. 400, in Dallas. For appointments and more information, call 214-997-4990 or visit DallasBrainChangers.com. See ad, page 26.

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