Christmas can be a painful time of year for many people - a time when grief, loneliness, health struggles, depression, anxiety, lack of money, or family trauma can be that much more prominent. And what adds to the pain for many of us, is the loud, deeply contrasting message that this is a happy, merry, joyous time. A time of togetherness, of fun, of treats. A time of spending lots of money and receiving lots of gifts. A time of family. These societal messages can be like salt in our wounds.
Yet this common human experience isn’t often talked about. In a spirit of acknowledging our human struggles and sharing ways to care for yourself through tough times, I’ve put together these mental health first aid tips for the holidays.
There are tips for those who are:
-feeling exhausted emotionally and physically
-impacted by toxic family, and
-for those who are struggling to sleep.
In part one of this series, we’ve looked at cholesterol being a natural substance produced in the human body every day, and one vital for health. Now, let’s talk about LDL cholesterol: how it can become elevated in your blood and what you can do about it. We’ll also look at the difference between LDL (so-called bad cholesterol) and HDL (so-called good cholesterol).
For around 40 or so years, we’ve been told that if we eat cholesterol-containing foods like eggs and saturated fats (butter, cream, meats, coconut oil, cream and milk), we’ll raise our cholesterol and our risk of cardiovascular diseases, like heart attack, stroke and arterial plaques.
Recently, I’ve had many people asking me how many eggs they can safely eat per week, because their doctors have told them they have high cholesterol and therefore need to avoid eggs. And I’ve had several people express surprise that I recommend most people could benefit from eating more eggs and saturated fats.
So, in a series of two articles, I’m going to help you learn more about cholesterol – what it is, what a high LDL cholesterol blood test result really means, and why you don’t need to fear saturated fats or eggs (truly).
Cara (not her real name) was 33. She ate a variety of whole foods, was active and seldom drank alcohol. She had a history of anxiety and depression and very stressful life events, including childhood trauma and abusive relationships.
When I saw Cara for her first appointment, she was in many ways in a very good place in her life. She had in the past year come out of an abusive relationship and knew she would never be in one again. She had begun seeing “a really good therapist” who was helping her unpack her childhood traumas. And she had a small group of true friends she could rely on.
Depression is one of the most commonly experienced mental health problems. While the causes of depression are different for everyone, there are often common contributors such as excessive stress or ongoing stress, trauma (past or recent), and emotional pain.
I’m going to share some tools for managing and recovering from depression that you might like to try.