Holidays and Health: Take Time to Check Your Emotional IQ

Causes of sadness during the holidays can include fatigue, added financial stress, having unrealistic or unmet expectations, mourning for deceased loved ones, feeling overwhelmed with holiday activities, and added stress at work, home or school. If you or a family member is feeling sad during the holiday season or at any time, there are things you can do:

•Know it's OK to say “no.” If you feel like you can’t take on another holiday activity or head up another fundraiser for your child's school, be honest with yourself about it. Make a list of what you can realistically take on and politely decline to participate in the rest.

•Look at things in a new light. Try celebrating the holidays in a new way by adopting new, small-scale traditions. If your traditions are different, you’ll be less likely to compare yourself to others or feel like you aren’t measuring up.

•Reach out for help when you need it. You may feel alone, but you can turn to a trusted friend or a medical or behavioral health professional if life feels out of control. Talk to your physician about your treatment options. Depression is often effectively treated through medication, talk therapy, or a combination of the two.

Behavioral Health Help Is Here Summit Medical Group recently partnered with Integrative Medicine Specialists (IMS) on a new initiative to incorporate behavioral health services into Summit’s model of primary care. IMS is embedding licensed, trained health psychologists on site at Summit’s Medical Associates, located at Park West Boulevard. IMS staff will be available to consult with Medical Associates patients on a wide variety of behavioral health problems in order to offer more comprehensive and coordinated care. The intent is to expand the IMS collaborative program throughout Summit’s more than 50 primary care locations, integrating behavioral health services into primary care to provide greater overall care for patients. IMS was founded by Susan Strickler, PhD, and Keith Hulse, PhD, two local psychologists with decades of collective experience practicing in medical settings.