Happy (?) Holidays!
By Sheryl Kraft
These are the two words I hear everywhere I go, from the mouths of store clerks to telemarketers to the UPS guy. But a few things I've recently read make me wonder if the holidays are so happy for everyone.
Take these news items, for example:
Holidays Trigger Domestic Violence
- Stress associated with the holidays along with increased alcohol use makes for a volatile combination in some.
You can read the full report .
Heart Attacks Increase During the Holiday Season.
- Deaths from heart disease peak in December and January and spike on Christmas and New Year's Day. Rich food? More stress?
Read it .
But what about the nice things that happen around the holidays? Here are some happy things I can think of:
- Visits from distant relatives that you truly love but need a good excuse to drive the 3 hours to visit.
- Gifts you'd never buy for yourself - truly indulgent and right on target
- An excuse to eat foods you would never allow yourself to eat any other day of the year
- Time off from work
- Home-baked cookies from well-meaning friends (if you're lucky)
And here's my reason why any or all of these are healthy: they make you happy - and the link between happiness and health is well-documented. Happy people have younger hearts, stronger immune systems and sleep better, too.
So there, you negative scientists. Bah, humbug!
What nice things happen for you during the holidays?