Healthy Holidays

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					Healthy Holidays
Issue 3, December 1, 2008

Healthy Mind
Holiday blues are a common problem. Feeling down during the holidays can be tough, especially when everyone else seems caught up in the holiday spirit. While people with clinical depression should seek professional help, those with a touch of the holiday blues can try these strategies:

Healthy Body
Holidays are a time of stress for many people and some will choose food to minimize that stress. Before reaching for a snack, ask yourself if you are really hungry or if what you actually need is a short walk, a couple of minutes of quiet, deep breathing, or a phone conversation with a supportive friend instead. If you are really hungry, go for some fruits or vegetables. When exercising outdoors during cold weather, keep the following in mind:

 Think about past holidays and what led to feeling down then.

Possible culprits include drinking too much or not exercising. Try to avoid the culprit this year.

 Give yourself permission to feel down during the holidays.  Lean on your support system At least keep in touch by phone.  Give to your community. Taking time to help others can be truly
comforting. Altruism can make you feel better about yourself and can get you out of your rut, home, and isolation. A list of local holiday giving opportunities can be found at community. an all-nighter to wrap presents. Disrupting your schedule and losing sleep can make your mood deteriorate. rest of the year, but they upset you more now because you weren't comparing them to your holiday expectations. endorphins, the body's natural antidepressants. feelings.

 Check with your doctor. Experts say that almost everyone can exercise
sweat and then put back on as needed. mask or a scarf over your mouth.

safely in the cold, but if you have health concerns, get your doctor's OK.

 Wear layers. Dress in layers that you can remove as soon as you start to  If it's very cold (about 0 F or -17.8 C) or you have asthma, wear a face  Protect your extremities. Gloves, thick socks, and hats are important.  If it's dark, wear reflective clothing.  Wear a helmet for skiing, snowboarding and snowmobiling.  Remember sunscreen, lip balm, and sunglasses.  Drink plenty of fluids. You can become just as dehydrated in the cold as
in the heat.

 Get as much rest as possible. Don’t stay too late at parties or pull  Check your expectations. For example, family tensions exist the  Exercise. Physical activity has been shown to boost levels of  Avoid alcohol which is a depressant and will only increase blue

Healthy Planet
The 2.65 billion winter holiday cards sold every year in the US requires the harvesting of nearly 300,000 trees. Save trees and send e-mail or Internet greetings to friends and family. If you cannot send paperless greetings, send cards made from recycled paper or consider sending a holiday postcard to save paper and envelopes. Also, try to keep your card list to a minimum. If all of us sent one card less, we could save 50,000 cubic yards of paper. If you plan to decorate a tree for the holidays, avoid tinsel and artificial snow batting since it is not recyclable and can cause wildlife hazards. Beaded garlands can add the sparkle of tinsel and are reusable year after year. Edible decorations for wildlife can be placed outside following the holidays.

Healthy Recipe
Creamy Green Bean Bake
4 cups lightly cooked French-style frozen green beans 10-3/4 oz.-can condensed Healthy Request cream of mushroom soup (or similar) 1/2 cup fat-free or light sour cream 1 tbsp diced pimento (optional) 1/4 cup canned chow mein fried noodles Lightly cook frozen beans. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a 1-quart casserole dish or 9x9 inch dish, combine condensed soup, sour cream, and pimento. Measure 4 cups of cooked green beans, add to dish, and stir. Bake for 20 minutes or until bubbly. Sprinkle chow mein noodles over the top and bake 5 minutes more.

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Disclaimer This information is provided as an informational resource only and its contents are not intended to be used as a substitute for the advice or services of medical professionals. Consult your medical provider regarding matters related to health including diagnosis and treatment and before beginning any exercise program. Princeton University and University Health Services assume no liability for any individual’s use of or reliance upon any material contained or referenced herein.

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