March 2020

Dear Members and Friends of the Church of the Holy Communion:

The beautiful snow surrounds us, yet if we are not skiers or ice fisher folks, we may opt for more activities at the local gym, curl up on the couch for a nap or read a good book. Other options might include heading south for a couple of months to find a good hiking trail or a beach for hunting shells. Yet again, we might start baking cookies and snacking on some to raise our spirits during a long cold spell. If you’ve noticed, all the things that have come to mind include activity of some sort, good ways to avoid the winter doldrums or more seriously, depression.

Some symptoms of depression may include:

Decreased energy. Trouble remembering or

Loss of appetite or overeating. concentrating.

Trouble sleeping or sleeping more than usual. Irritability or restlessness.

Loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed. Thoughts of death or suicide.

Some ways to help lift your spirits and boost your mood:

Move. Exercise for 30 minutes or more a day, three to five days a week. You may

enjoy going to the gym, or you might like a long walk in the neighborhood.

Connect with Others. Socialization helps provide support and distract your mind

from negative thoughts. Make the effort to call a friend or two. Try Skyping.

Sleep. Not getting enough rest can have a negative impact on your physical and mental

well-being. At least seven or eight hours of sleep at night are recommended. Naps are rejuvenating as well.

Keep a journal. Writing out your thoughts and feelings can be a good emotional release. Letters to distant friends may be invigorating.

Take up a hobby. Find an interest and pursue it. It might be playing Bridge, listening to

or making music, gardening, or playing Pickle Ball. You deserve to have fun.

Seeking help to diagnose depression is a necessary step to better health. Discussion with your healthcare professional is a good start. You should know that there are many treatment options available including therapy, medications, improving physical health and social engagement, and talking with your doctor about dietary changes and medication solutions. Quick online screening sites are available as well. (Substance Abuse or Mental Health Services Administration 1-800-662-HELP (4357) or samhsa.gov. or samhsa.gov.) Take action on behalf of yourself or a loved one.

With love and care, Judy Gardner, Parish Nurse March, 2020

Bedosky, L. Fall 2019. Dealing with Depression: Why it’s important to get screened for this common health concern. Thrive (journal from Thrivent Insurance Company)