December 2009 - Hold Onto the Joy!!!
- Created on December 2nd, 2009
- By Journey to Wellness
By far, this is my favorite time of year. I love the bright lights and beautiful decorations, the music of peace and celebration, and precious good times with family and friends. I will listen non-stop to Nat “King” Cole’s “The Christmas Song,” Ella Fitzgerald’s “Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow,” and Johnny Mathis’ “Oh Holy Night.” I confess, I am “in the zone” when it comes to the Christmas holidays and I try to hold on to the joy as long as I can!
Whatever traditions you cherish during this special holiday season, remember to focus on health, safety and common sense amidst your celebrations. Hospital emergency room workers have long reported the days after Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Eve as their busiest times of year. Why? Because too many of us eat, drink and party in ways that compromise our physical and mental health - and in the case of too much alcohol – possibly the health of others as well.
For the many African Americans who live with diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, mental or emotional health issues, different cancers and other life threatening diseases, the holidays can spell crisis. But people in robust health are also threatened by overindulgence and over-taxed bodies that can result in sudden heart attack, stroke, broken limbs, emotional breakdowns or even death. Ignoring or forgetting to take prescribed medications, gorging on high calorie, high fat foods, excess sugar and salt, too many beers, spiked eggnog and hard liquor are not recipes for good cheer!
Let’s also remember that for thousands of Americans, the last twelve months have been enormously difficult as we struggle through the most brutal recession since the 1930s. Job loss and home foreclosures have left many of us fatigued and frightened about the future. A good number more feel hopeless and depressed. Forced joy in the face of stress, fear and uncertainty is no joy at all, so avoid it by taking realistic stock of your financial circumstances. Don’t spend and sacrifice to throw parties you can’t afford to host, give gifts you can’t afford to buy or splurge on luxury items to impress or satisfy the perceived needs of others.
As homelessness continues to rise, hold on to the joy of having a roof over your head. As families fracture because of divorce, death or separation, hold on to the joy of one more holiday with a cherished elder, well-loved children and friends and relatives you hold dear. Hold on to the joy of your physical and emotional well-being and don’t ruin them with thoughtless acts of overindulgence or too many thoughts that may erode your sense of self-worth and hope for the future. Don’t make this a season of regrets about a past that’s over and for better or worse, can never be reclaimed. Instead, hold on to the joy of promise and opportunities to come.
Finally, hold on to the joy of life – the Life God gave us is the Reason for this season. Hold on to the joy and spread its good tidings. Peace, Love and Merry Christmas to All on your Journey to Wellness!
With you on your Journey To Wellness...
Dr. Mary S. Harris