Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Heal Holiday Depression Naturally

The holiday season is a time of love and happiness, joy and peace—a joining of family and friends, eating, celebration and sharing. However, for some people it can also be a time of depression and desolation. People who suffer from what experts refer to as "holiday depression" battle during the holidays with financial burdens, loneliness, unrealistic expectations, stress, fatigue, nostalgia, anxiety and other psychological factors.

But there are cures—natural cures—that not only help heal holiday depression, but prevent the disorder from returning each year. These natural remedies can also be used throughout the year anytime stress, anxiety or depression becomes an issue. These remedies are easy to pull off and do not require much preparation or activity.

To start, make sure you are eating an abundance of colorful, fresh fruits and vegetables and drinking lemon and water. The sour flavor helps activate the liver which promotes natural healing. Be sure to include green, leafy vegetables like as a nice, big salad with olive oil dressing and drink plenty of water. A spinach salad with walnuts sounds great right about now!

Getting through holiday depression doesn’t stop with what you eat. How you dress, your activities and thought process can also play a part in your high or low mood. To that end, wear bright colors when the weather’s gloomy, volunteer and ease into the holidays with thoughts of helping and hearing other people’s stories—good or bad—because it will allow you to see how valuable your contributions are and that your situation is not always as bad as you think.

During the holidays, depending on your geography, the weather is cool and breezy. So, whenever you can, get outside and take a walk or run. Breathe deeply so the fresh air can generate more oxygen to clear your head.

One thing we all need to do is minimize expectations of family and friends, to avoid unnecessary stress and intensity. Realize that the season is not about what fits your family’s or friends’ image of you and how you’re living. Trying too hard to please or convince your family and friends that you “fit” in some category or image that they have of you can rapidly spiral you into depression

The holidays are the perfect season to catch up on your rest. Getting enough sleep is critical to ending holiday depression because when you’re awake many hours, the liver cannot regenerate like it’s designed to do during late hours.

By all means, avoid consuming too much sugar, refined carbohydrates and empty calorie snacks. Instead, snack on raw vegetables or eat healthy foods you have at home before going to a party so you won’t feel obligated to pile up on energy zapping foods.

Finally, herbs are also a natural way to heal depression. St. John’s Wart and lemon balm are just two of the hundreds of natural, already prepared products that will help restore your energy. A visit to your local, natural food store can help you find out what’s available.

Other Tips:

  • Take a warm shower with a cold rinse

  • Get lots of natural light

  • Laugh a lot to produce hormones that lift your mood

  • Exercise

  • Plan for next year (home projects, business projects, etc.)

  • Write out at least 10 things you plan to accomplish and share with family and friends

  • Practice postive self-talk

Get Active. Go Green! with delmetria millener, a freelance writer based in Texas. Contact her at thawriter@thawriter.biz.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

African American Environmental Association: 25th Anniversary


By Norris McDonald

Today is our 25th anniversary.  We was incorporated on November 20, 1985.  The African American Environmentalist Association (AAEA) is the outreach arm of the Center for Environment, Commerce & Energy (Center).

You can see a listing of many of our activities during that time at our original website, which we converted to Multiply when the original Msn Groups platform ended).  There is more activity information at our History page. My career has been very satisfying.  From my beginning in the Fall of 1979 at the Environmental Policy Center (now Friends of the Earth) until today, the adventure has been incredible.  I started out in the Washington, D.C.-based environmental movement.  Jimmy Carter was president and was just finishing a rough 4-year run.  I shook his hand at the Democratic National Convention in New York in 1980 not knowing that Washington was about to get a completely new makeover.  The Reagan era was interesting and quite the challenge for the environmental movement.  I still remember his 'no standard standard' for appliance efficiency standards.  I also remember the Air Florida crash and the Metro subway accident on the day that I was walking back from the U.S. Department of Energy after testifying on appliance standards.

Well, without sounding like the old guy in the room sharing old war time stories that nobody really wants to hear, the situation today is as exciting as ever.  We are embarking on trying to build biomass power plants in Mississippi, California and in Kenya.  The adventure continues and I am having more fun than ever.  Our team is lean and mean and green. 

I have kept the AAEA small on purpose and will continue to do so.  I almost died from respiratory failure in 1991 and 1996 (intubated for 4 days in ICU each time).  After getting divorced and full custody of my son when he was 2 years old, I decided that I wanted to stick around to see my son grow up.  But I also wanted to continue with my entrepreneurial environmentalism.  So keeping it small worked.  Although I still struggle with a chronic acute asthma that could kill me any day, my son is now 18 and I am still 'doing my green thing.'  Life is good.  Hey, and we just opened a new Center Hollywood blog this week (Also see AAEA Hollywood).  Oh, and if you're feeling generous, feel free to click on our Donation button on our sites.