Jan 12

The change in the season means many different things to different people. When the season changes from autumn to winter (at least in regions where there is distinct variation between seasons), some people are excited about the holidays, winter fashion, and outdoor winter activities (think of your friendly neighborhood skiers, snowboarders, Santa impersonators). For others, the change in season is met with dread (lower amounts of energy, mood fluctuations, pessimism). While many people are negatively impacted by the colder seasons, there is a percentage of individuals who are affected to a significant degree, those who meet the criteria for Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). SAD occurs when the change of season produces depressed mood, low energy, irritability, change in sleep patterns, change in appetite, diminished concentration, and low motivation. Continue reading »

Dec 23

In addition to the very good and comprehensive list of tips provided by our Nov 22 blog post from my colleagues Barbara Bowe and Shawn Healy, you may enjoy listening to this perspective on sober holidays from Sarah Hepola, the author of Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget, a brief recent segment of the NPR Fresh Air broadcast. (Click the Play button to hear Sarah, or read the transcript.)

To those of you who have no problem with alcohol: if you are involved in any way in planning a festive gathering – such as your law firm’s holiday party — author Hepola notes that it is surprising how little thought party hosts tend to give to providing appealing non-alcoholic beverages. These days most hosts offer some healthy food choices like carrots and dip, slices of fruit. So where’s the Perrier and fruit juce?

All of us at LCL wish you and yours a healthy and fulfilling holiday and new year.

Jeff Fortgang, Ph.D.

Dec 14

When you ask people what the holiday season means to them, you will probably get as many answers as the people you asked. For some, the holiday season brings up memories (some good, some bad, some ugly, some they hope one day to repress) of years past that they either wish or fear could be repeated each year. It can be difficult to know what to expect and how to prepare. I find it easy to feel overwhelmed and distracted by the bombardment of messages about the holidays (you should feel happy, you should spend time with family, you should throw parties, you should buy lots of stuff, you should make resolutions, you should or shouldn’t eat lots of sweets, you should compete with your neighbor for the most electricity used to light the exterior of your dwelling, etc.). By this time in the season, I’m tempted to start dreaming of life on a deserted island. Continue reading »

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