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It’s the most wonderful time of the year

There’ll be parties for hosting
When friends come to call
And hearts will be glowing
When the loved ones are near

It’s the happiest season of all
It’s the best time of the year
Have a holly jolly Christmas this year

Lovely, absolutely perfect … but is it really? Well, these are lyrics from Christmas Carols. They have to give the picture of a dreamy fairyland Christmas.
These happy scenes of Christmas do not often reflect what is going on at home. Many families are really stressed out at Christmas. Reality is not that perfect but we can work on it and make it better.

A new kind of Christmas Message

Don’t worry… about a thing,
Cause every little thing’s gonna be alright
Rise up this mornin’,
smile with the risin’ sun,
Three little birds, pitch by my doorstep
Singin’ sweet songs of melodies
pure and true,
Sayin’, “This is my message to you”

This song is not a “by-the-book” Christmas song, but it could well be. Many of Bob Marley’s songs have lyrics that fight depression, worries and tell us that we can reach genuine happiness if we really pay attention and feel the “little things” that surround us: the warmth of the sun, the coziness of the fireplace when it is raining outside and, most of all, the real importance of companionship, friendship, the positive touch of another human being… Last but not least, do not forget the absolute “must” of putting things into perspective.

Financial depression … medical depression

The world is still going through financial depression and we are witnessing an increase, beyond what one would desire, of cases of medical depression.
Depression is a state of low mood and aversion to activity that can affect a person’s thoughts, behaviour, feelings and physical wellbeing.
It is a normal reaction to certain life events, a symptom of some medical conditions and a feature of certain psychiatric syndromes, so a doctor should be consulted – but it helps to be positive about reality.
It might be difficult at times to attain a target that is almost impossible to achieve, but we can try … with a little help from our friends.
Christmas carols, Bob Marley and now the Beatles! It is certainly true, we will get by with a little help from our friends and … if we will get together, we will be alright!

Christmas depression

The run-up to Christmas is not an easy time. People are often really busy at work and they have several office and friends’ parties. This together with getting all their food for family gatherings – and, of course, getting the presents for everyone on the list – can leave them short of money, short-tempered and even depressed.
It is very relevant as well that many families do not spend much time together throughout the year and sometimes it is not easy to cope when they are all thrown together at Christmas.
Adults often drink more than usual at Christmas, which, adding to all the other stresses, can lead to arguments and even violence.
Many children’s parents are separated and they have to split Christmas between two homes, which can be really upsetting and, to make it worse, their parents’ relationships are often not good. Not easy!

This is my Christmas message to you

Don’t worry, be happy
in every life we have some trouble,
when you worry you make it double
cos when you’re worried,
your face will frown,
and that will bring everybody down,
so don’t worry, be happy
put a smile on your face,
it will soon pass whatever it is,
don’t worry, be happy,
Let’s get together and we’ll feel alright.

When life is difficult for so many, we should not be negative about the little things we cannot have anymore. We should feel happy with the little but great things that are still free and easy to have.
See the reality around you, the real people and the real things that surround us. Find the possible alternative roads to a new way of life. They are there, you just have to actually look around and keep your head clear so that you can think properly! Very important… get some friends to keep you company for the journey.
If this was done “by the book”, we doctors would have a lot less people in our offices complaining of depression and a lot less medicines would be prescribed. It would be cheaper, healthier and more productive.
Best healthy wishes,
Dr. Maria Alice
By Dr Maria Alice
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Dr Maria Alice is a consultant in General and Family Medicine. General Manager/Medical Director – Luzdoc International Medical Service / Medilagos. Medical Director – Grupo Hospital Particular do Algarve