Getting Through the Winter & Holiday Blues

As we get closer to Christmas, with the days shorter, darker and colder, many people feel anxious or blue. With the COVID pandemic imposing a layer of isolation on top of those feelings, the experience of being down or lonely can turn into depression.    While there is no cure-all for feelings of sadness and a sense of loss, there are things that you can do to hang on to some emotional balance during this difficult season.   Watch what you eat. Enjoy the foods that you … [Read more...]

Alone On Thanksgiving Day?

  Whether you are alone because your family lives far away or because the COVID-19 pandemic prevents you from being together, it is important to think about how you want the Thanksgiving holiday to go. For many single individuals, who make up about a third of all households, Thanksgiving (and Christmas or Chanukah) can feel gloomy or sad if there is no one to share it with. It is hard to ignore all those family scenes in commercials, and joyous songs just don’t make up for a shared meal and hugs … [Read more...]

When Someone You Love Is Disabled

    I confess. I was one of those people who never thought much about disabilities. Although I have had health problems through the years, none has left me unable to do the things I wanted to do. So my focus on disabilities was more about placards on cars and signs in parking lots. Then 16 months ago my husband had a stroke. It left him unable to use his left arm or leg, but we were lucky that his mind was fine and his speech, initially a little garbled, recovered quickly. Suddenly, things … [Read more...]

Caregiving & Isolation

Three months ago, my husband had a stroke. Doctors told us we were lucky it was not worse: he could speak, find words, and only needed to learn to walk and use his left arm again. The process of rehabilitation began, and I was so proud of him for his motivation and how hard he worked. But I realized that I was struggling with feelings that had little to do with his stroke specifically and more to do with how it had impacted our life as a couple, as well as my life individually. I limited my … [Read more...]

OCD: What Is it and Do I Have It?

Jenny stops by Amanda’s locker to borrow a pencil before the homeroom bell. “Ugh,” Jenny scoffs, eyeing Amanda’s perfectly stacked books and variety of office supplies, all arranged by size and color. “You’re sooo OCD.” Unlike many mental illnesses, which still carry some degree of social stigma, OCD — obsessive compulsive disorder — has gained such popular acceptance that it is often dropped casually into conversation to punch up a joke or as a pithy synonym for “neat freak.” Pop culture … [Read more...]