There is a book entitled My Last Supper: The Next Course by Melanie Dunea. This book is preceded by My Last Supper by the same author. Each book is a journey through the lives and minds of 50 famous chefs, revealing what their last meal before death would look like. In each book the author asks the same six questions to each chef and the answers that she’s given greatly vary. I suggest that you not only challenge yourself to ponder your answers to these questions, I further suggest that you share these questions with whomever you are breaking bread with during the holidays, and allow the questions to take the conversation where it will.
What would be your last meal on earth?
What would be the setting for the meal?
What would you drink with your meal?
Would there be music?
Who would be your dining companions?
Who would prepare the meal?
Questions such as these often provide the appropriate, light-hearted segue to deeper conversations that address end-of-life preferences.
As we approach Thanksgiving, many people enter into the “holiday blues.” This can be caused by many factors: increased stress and fatigue, unrealistic expectations, over-commercialization, the economy, lost income or the inability to be with one’s family. The increased demands of shopping, family reunions and houseguests also contribute to feelings of tension. Even people who do not become depressed can develop other stress reactions during the holiday such as headaches, excessive drinking, over-eating and difficulty sleeping.
Below are several ways to identify potential sources of holiday depression that can help individuals cope with the seasonal “blues”:
- Keep expectations for the holiday season manageable by not trying to make the holiday the “best ever.” Setting realistic goals, organizing your time, making lists and prioritizing what activities are important helps your overall preparation.
- The holiday season doesn’t automatically banish reasons for feeling sad or lonely; there is room for these feelings to be present, even if the person chooses not to express them.
- Life brings changes. Each holiday season is different and can be enjoyed in its own way. You set yourself up for sadness if everything has to be just like the “good old days.”
- It’s an age-old remedy—do something for someone else. Helping others lessens our thoughts for our own grieving or sadness.
- Excessive drinking can make you more depressed.
- Trying something new and celebrating the holidays in a way not done before may result in a positive and inspiring change.
- Spending time with people who are supportive and care about you is always a comfort. Making new friends or contacting someone you have lost touch with may be a good alternative to remaining alone.
- When there are a lot of activities with family and friends, some time for yourself, doing what you prefer to do or to rest, may be a necessity.
- Tried and true — countering sadness by composing a list of things, people, situations for which you are grateful.
Keep an eye on your family and friends who may be alone this year. Some bravado may be a thin façade—masking unshared depression.
Mild forms of depression can be due to endocrine or hormonal imbalances in men or women. Often, supplementing the pituitary gland with a homeopathic remedy can balance the endocrine system of the body and give relief from mild depression.
Yet, if you experience, or know someone who experiences mood swings, or shows signs of depression, it would be appropriate to seek support now before the holidays get in full swing. Some considerations for help include your physician or a church minister. If you are concerned for your own well-being, or that of another who is showing extreme signs of depression, you can call a Suicide or Crisis Hotline. National numbers are:
1-800-SUICIDE or 1-800-273-TALK
Wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving
- EXTRA THOUGHTFULNESS at a TIME for THANKSGIVING: Special Considerations for Ill or Aging Loved Ones
- Inspiring Questions for You To Share