Over the years of working with alcoholics, drug addicts and a wide variety of mania and manic psychological issues, the end of many bouts of being high, often result in a period of low… Sometimes worryingly or painfully low.
“Uh-oh… This sounds like a morbid blog today Adam.”
Well, I’d like to think of it as forward thinking rather than plain morbid, let me explain…
We all know that the Christmas and New Year time of year is supposed to be festive, joyous, a time to be with loved ones, and even an excuse to work less and have a break from work… Yet, it is incredibly common for people to develop a cold, the flu, or even emotional maladies of some kind once the festivities are over, why is that?
After all, isn’t common knowledge that relaxation and good times are the medicine the body needs? It is true that the holidays can be stressful, and it is well known that stress is associated with making us more vulnerable to illness. But why should positive and happy times be associated with illness?
The theory that explains why we become ill after periods of stress, can also clarify how this happens during the good times in our lives. The effects of a sort of ‘come down’ is a condition where high energy or activation levels in the body are immediately followed by a rapid drop in activation levels. This is comparable to a speeding car coming to a sudden, screeching halt. The final result is an immune system that has been down regulated or compromised, leaving the body open to illness.
It would not seem surprising if after burning the midnight oil for weeks that we would develop a cold or the flu after abruptly taking a holiday respite. Yet once the good times have finished rolling, and have come and gone, we can be equally as susceptible to the effects of a come down of sorts.
Therapeutically, I advise my clients to common sensically guard against such come downs and post festive season illness, and that they consider “cooling down” gradually.
We implicitly accept the value of cooling down after exercise, and this is equally important in fending off the holiday let down. Instead of jumping back into the work mode after your high activation festivities or celebrations, consider scheduling a low key fun day. There are a variety of techniques that can also be helpful by slowing the pace of the let down while boosting the body’s immune response. Short bursts of exercise (even a five minute duration), a friendly game of something (scrabble anyone? I am so rock and roll!!) and a good spell of healthy eating and quality sleep…
Though of course, if it is just hangovers you are overcoming, then according to this months Men’s Health magazine, asparagus and eggs with plenty of fresh air are the order of the day!
Of course, getting the mind prepared for such a thing is just as key as the practical processes… So of course, king of bias that I am, I recommend plenty of self-hypnosis to keep morale up, resistances finely tuned and the immune system fully charged ready for the oncoming new year and all its delights…