Holiday madness driving you, well, mad?
Take some tips from this expert at the borough’s Montefiore Medical Center to deal with the packed malls, stretched budgets, party planning and nonstop running around. Simon Rego, director of psychology training at Montefiore, advises keeping in mind that the holiday season is about enjoying time with family, savoring traditional meals and getting into the spirit of the season, with some tips on easing the stress, guilt and frustration.
Burning the candle at both ends: It can sometimes seem there aren’t enough hours in the day. Rego advises avoiding the fatigue, moodiness and loss of productivity by breaking the to-do list down into manageable bites – and asking for help.
“It’s simply not feasible to say yes to every request,” said Rego. “You have to learn how to say – and mean – no. Don’t let people take advantage of your generous nature, make a to-do list and stick to it. No extras.”
Calories still count during the holidays. To control the holiday consumption, he suggests drinking water or juice and eating a healthy snack before heading out the door, thinking twice about the food options, and using a smaller plate.
The trick to keeping New Year’s resolutions, he said, is to make them “simple, achievable and meaningful.”
“If you make goals that are realistic and make you feel good about yourself, you’re more likely to maintain them.”
Here are a few examples of practical, feel-good resolutions:
•Try a new activity: Rather than committing to working out every day, try something a little less mundane that will get you moving. Take up a new sport, sign up for dance classes or go rock climbing. Exploring new activities can introduce you to something fun that will keep you physically fit and also be enjoyable.
•Take simple steps when it comes to your health: Instead of “committing” to losing 20 pounds this year, take baby steps. The new year is a good time for an annual physical, taking “ownership” over your cholesterol levels, blood pressure and other key measures for optimum health.
•Avoid fad diets: Instead think about what you eat and how you feel before doing so. Being more mindful of what you’re eating and the role your emotions and environment play in food choices can make a big difference. Other simple but effective ways to boost weight loss include increasing your water intake, wearing a pedometer and taking the stairs instead of the elevator – little changes add up over time.
So does Rego follow his own advice?
“No, I’m in the throes of my Christmas shopping myself, but I’m taking my own advice,” he responded.
And is it working?
“It’s still a work in progress for me – as well as for everyone else.”