Michelle Rupp: Hello and welcome to this week’s edition of AFMC TV. We’re glad you’re joining us. You know, typically the holiday season is a happy season, but that isn’t always the case. And joining me today to talk about how the holidays can affect people is Dr. Chad Rodgers, our medical director. Hi doctor Chad, how are you?

Dr. Chad Rodgers: I’m doing well, thanks for having me back.

MR: Thanks for being here. So how do the holidays, what kind of impact can they have on people? Because while it is the most wonderful time of the year, it isn’t always for everyone?

CR: So it is a time where we become so much more aware of that very fact because if you’re not married or happy  then then you, you feel like everybody else is it really kind of adds to that whole, that you’re alone. And the fact is you’re probably not alone. In fact, most of the population experiences some sort of anxiety related to the holidays or some sort of  decline in mood or depression our exacerbation of you know sort of those things if you already kind of deal with them, so you’re not alone during the holidays, although we feel very alone because you know, we do tend to spend a lot more time indoors  trying to stay warm and trying to stay away from other people and plus also for other people, the holidays can just be really depleting if you’re not a person who thrives on being with people all the time, it can wear you out. So it’s not, it’s always the happiest of seasons for people and I think we all kind of need to be kind of conscious of that.

MR: So while we know it can impact our mental health, it can also have an impact on our physical health too and talk a little bit about that.

CR: Yeah, so you have to kind of think too, just knowing that mental effect overall  you know affects your physical health just because you do release a lot of stress hormones when you are stressed or when you are feeling down, So those have a lot of effect on your blood sugar and on your blood pressure. We also all pick up some bad habits during the holidays, this is the time of the year, we kind of let things go, you know, we tend to eat a little bit more, we tend to eat things that are not, it’s good for us, we tend to drink a little bit more. We also tend to be a little less active and not do those things that we normally do to stay healthy. We kind of lose that routine because the holidays do get busy, there is vacation, there is school being in and out, so there’s a real disruption to routine, which is not a bad thing. But if you’re a person who kind of depends on that to maintain your kind of health routine that could be very disruptive.

MR: Talk about the  ever popular lack of sunlight right now because that too. And of course seasonal effective disorder. I mean that that could be a whole other show, but not having that big ball of fire shining  that that can leave one feeling kind of melancholy.

CR: Yes, very much and so seasonal effective disorder is called sad, you know, it is that season, so it is because of the time change and because the days are getting shorter, you’re not getting exposed to as much of sunlight, which is actually very, very important for lots of your bodily functions, but it also has effect on a lot of hormones in your body that kind of, it can affect mood.  So it’s a real important time of year to try to get that sunlight in when you can. So whereas work kind of sometimes interferes with your kind of getting outside, trying to schedule a little bit of time at lunch time or during the day when the sun is at its peak to try to get out and get some sunlight  for kids, you know, definitely keeping out during the day  because we are keeping them in more at night since it’s cold and dark,  it’s really important to kind of your overall health.

MR: And just because it’s cloudy outside, not an excuse to, well the sun’s not out, I guess you need to stay in.

CR: Right. Just like it’s not an excuse to not wear sunscreen this smer because you’re still going to be raised through the, through the clouds. And those are the things that kind of help you with those  with the kind of the wake and darkness kind of phases of the day. But Also with all those kind of  hormone production that kind of help you stay happy and healthy.

MR: And we know too, even just a quick walk around the block, even if it’s cloudy that can that can be a good pick me up.

CR: Yeah. Get the, get the blood flow and get the muscles moving really helpful for your overall mood.

MR: So how can we stay mentally healthy, physically healthy after the holidays? You know, because we have this big build up, this big crescendo and then it’s January 2nd, January 3rd, January 4th. And it’s, I mean we’re coming off that high and by January, I don’t know, 12th 14th, well there’s another gym membership I’m not going to use, I mean, you know, so it’s even post holiday, you can spiral right.

CR: Right. And that kind of, this kind of begins to spiral. And then when you start to feel down, it’s hard to get back up. But I think, you know the main thing and if you think about the purpose of the holidays and being off work and family and friends is a sense of connectedness, so that’s really our goal, that’s what people really want during the holidays is to feel connected, going to a party with 50 people may not be sort of your, you know, idea of a good time or a way to feel connected, where you’re just kind of having small conversations, you’re also exposing yourself to a lot of stuff  you’re also going to a party where there’s high calorie food and perhaps some drinking. So I think, you know, the idea of really kind of playing your holiday, you don’t have to make it to every holiday party, you don’t have to stay at every holiday party, but making some time to connect with people that are really important for you to you. I think we all sat at home the last two holidays and really thought about the people in our lives that are most important to us and you know, those are new traditions that we need to carry on and we need to maintain, so trying to be with those people who fill us up  and not drain us because family can be draining and they, we all have friends that drain us. And so I think the other thing during the holidays is some self-care and that involves putting some boundaries, so that may mean that you only go home for one day at thanksgiving, you’re going to have the deep meal and then you’re going to go and be with someone who fills you up as opposed to those people who drain you in your life. That’s a little bit of a hard lesson for some of us, sometimes it’s a hard lesson for our families, but it’s still important for self-care. I think the other thing is, you know, nutrition is still so important hydration,  we tend to drink too much during the holidays. There’s lots of fun seltzers flavored waters that are available now, so if you have one drink then have one seltzer, it’s still kind of seasonal and fun. and  make sure you’re getting plenty of rest  sleep is so important to your overall, not just your mental health, but physical health. And we tend to kind of get a little sleep deprived even though it’s so dark or else our sleep patterns get off because it does get dark, we come home, we take a nap and then we don’t fall asleep well at night, we get disrupted through the night. So sleep is so sleep hygiene is so important.

MR: I love you just briefly touched on that self-care and that may be something that you don’t want to let slip during the holidays if you’re used to getting a massage or used to getting a facial or used to just spending a random Thursday night in an epsom salt bath at home, continue to do that and continue to take care of yourself, don’t just let that go by the wayside because it’s the holidays.

CR: And even though you may routinely do a 30 minute run or an hour run or you you go on that walk or ride the cycle. You know, even if you get on for 12 to 15 minutes, there’s still some benefit. It’s not all lost. You may not have as much time, but still try to find some time to do that. I think the other thing is before you go out, before you go to those parties, eat a salad or eat a half a sandwich or eat something that some have an avocado is a great snack. And my favorite snack have the whole avocado. But I have some of them  You know, avocado toast, have a little bit of that before you go somewhere that will cut your appetite, it will give you some healthy meals that will prevent you from overeating and may help you kind of maintain some good nutrition through the holidays.

MR: Because what a win both mentally and physically, if you could come out of the holidays still the same size and your waistline hasn’t changed that you can just maintain that would be lovely. Well doctor Chad, is there any other takeaway On just getting through these final few weeks of 2022 and then end to 23.

CR: Yeah, I think it’s, we’re looking at going into the new year and begin to make those resolutions and thinking about that and ending up this year. You got to think about financial health too. So you know, be real careful about overspending. It’s a time of the year where we all tend to spend a little too much on ourselves and on others. But then we have all that debt waiting for us. And that stress of that debt can really work on your nerves, work on your health. So you know being kind of conscious staying within you know, again people want to be together. I don’t care about your gift, I wouldn’t I want to hang out with Michelle, you know, so kind of know that that’s sort of the gift that you give during the season and then you get gifted to yourself.  It’s not bad to be selfish during the holidays. You got to do some self-care in order to stay healthy.

MR: Love it. All right Dr. Chad thank you and merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

CR: Merry Christmas and happy New Year.

MR: And thank you so much for joining us. We’ll see you back here next week for more a. F. Mc Tv