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Winter wisdom: Four local experts help you to combat seasonal blues

Winter wisdom: Four local experts help you to combat seasonal blues

STORY: Alexa Lampasona

Christmas girl

It’s not uncommon for people to feel more tense and emotional during the holidays. We’re off our normal schedules, family and social dynamics change and it seems like the checklist of things to do never ends. And frivolous, happy-go-lucky television commercials and movies depicting the “holiday spirit” may lead you to wonder, “Why don’t I feel that way?” We consulted four wellness professionals in the area for advice regarding some of the most common questions they’re asked during the holiday season. Here is what they had to say.

Why am I just now thinking of something that happened in the past?


Laura Bodner: If something in your present is triggering you to think about a situation that has not been worked through, then your mind will bring it into consciousness for you to work on it. You can identify the issue(s) and explore a solution to the conflict. You could talk it out with a family member, talk to a therapist, or work on letting it go and move on.

My schedule is out of alignment and I feel overwhelmed. How can I restore balance in my daily routine?

Gedaliah Genin: Take time to treat yourself and pause for a moment. Marma, a form of Ayurveda, works on sensitive pressure points in the body. While most people think of massage as a form of relief over the holidays, Marma is focused more on body awareness, incorporating sounds and light touch to heal and restore the body. Marma is a specialized practice by licensed professionals, and I offer it at Atlanta Holistic Medicine. If you need a quick break at home, try an abhyanga massage by rubbing oil on key tense spots, like your neck or calves. Use organic sesame oil because it relieves fatigue, provides stamina and enhances the complexity of your skin.

All I think about is the buffet table at the holiday party. How can I keep myself distracted?

Alyza Berman: Have a plan. First, eat normally until that “buffet meal” is served. If you go to a buffet starving from not eating all day, you will be doomed! Stay in a different room or engage in an activity to distract yourself. Give yourself boundaries, such as allowing yourself to fill your plate one time and only go back for the dessert, and communicate to someone you trust what your plan is.

I find myself getting distracted and don’t know how to juggle work and family time. How can I find balance?

Jane Ann Covington: Balance can sometimes be misconstrued for perfection and perfection isn’t possible. This is one of the most important times to be with your family. Talk to your boss to give you feedback about what you can do to help meet your goals more effectively. If you have too much on your plate, you may not be good at setting boundaries. Not being able to set boundaries means you don’t value yourself enough. This can be corrected with good coaching, support and training. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it.

What are the signs that I have low energy? What are ways to increase my energy?

GG: You may feel disconnected, scattered or have a lack of focus. Some people get insomnia when they think about everything at night. Deep belly breathing, like how a baby breathes, is helpful to invigorate yourself and improve sleep quality.

Why do I feel depressed during the holidays, when it seems that everyone else is happy?

LB: Number one, “everyone else” isn’t happy that is an irrational thought. Two, if you feel depressed during the holidays, explore it. A key component is self-awareness. Know your triggers, your issues, and how your body responds to stress and you will be proactive about the situation.

What are ways to avoid emotional eating during the holidays?

AB: The first step is to identify what emotions are coming up for you during the holiday and why they exist. Sweets give a sense of comfort, so allow your self a bit of indulgence. When you become aware of the emotions, write them down, talk to yourself, and let yourself feel them rather than repress them. Most importantly, communicate them to someone you trust so you don’t internalize confused emotions.


Our Panel of Experts:



Psychotherapist, co-founder of Body Matters Program

4015 South Cobb Drive, Suite 10 Smyrna 30080

404.694.0204 |





Licensed professional counselor, Counseling Through Change

2801 Buford Highway, Suite T-60 Atlanta 30329

404.388.4990 |




Founder, Executive Solutions Institute

3495 Piedmont Road N.E., Building 12 Suite 112, Atlanta 30305

404.276.8789 |




Wellness practitioner and Ayurveda lifestyle consultant, Atlanta Holistic Medicine

1401 Dresden Drive Atlanta 30319

404.814.9808 |

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