If you’re celebrating more but enjoying it less, a few small changes will help you enter into the joy of the season.
When I entered the exam room, I found Erin staring blankly out the window. She looked as if she was in another world. The note from my nurse said only, "Post-holiday depression. Wants to talk."
As I pulled out my stool and had a seat, I greeted her. "Good morning, Erin. What's up?"
She continued to stare across the small lake behind our office as her lower chin began to quiver, and a large tear streaked down her cheek. She reached down to the purse on her lap, pulled out a tissue and wiped her tear.
"It was the worst holiday season ever," was all she could whisper.
As we talked, Erin revealed that she had eaten too much, gained too much weight, planned too many events, had too many things go wrong, had no time for herself or her dear husband, had limited time with her kids and no time for her Lord. In short, she had done too much that was unhealthful and too little that was healthy.
Unfortunately, too many women make the same mistake as Erin year after year after year. But, perhaps you're interested in breaking this cycle and having a holiday season for you and your family that is memorable, healthful and God honoring. If so, then this prescription is for you.
Assessing Your Health The first step is to understand how we are created. The Bible teaches that health is not just physical. In fact, the root word from which we derive our modern word "health" is also the root for our words "whole" and "holy."
Perhaps the best verse to illustrate this concept is found in the writing of the physician Luke in his description of Jesus as a preteen: "And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men" (Luke 2:52, NKJV).
In other words, Luke describes the highly healthy Jesus as healthy physically (stature), emotionally (wisdom), relationally (favor with men) and spiritually (favor with God). To be as highly healthy as God has designed each of us to be, these four "wheels of health" must be inflated and balanced. If one or more of them is flat, then it can impact and dramatically reduce our health. To be highly healthy requires assessing these four areas of health and then addressing any that are unhealthy.
In my book God's Design for the Highly Healthy Person, I discuss in great detail this hidden biblical secret to becoming highly healthy. And on my Web site is a "four-wheel" assessment tool that you can use to assess your health wheels (www.drwalt.com/PDF/hlthpers.pdf). I hope you'll utilize one or both of these medically reliable and biblically sound health instruments (endorsed by the Christian Medical Association).
In the meantime, let me share with you the prescription I gave to Erin and continue to share with my patients and others. My prayer is that these principles and tips will help you and your family to have a highly healthy holiday season.
By the way, I saw Erin almost a year later. She brought her son in for a well-child checkup. As I entered the room, she was beaming from ear to ear.
"You sure seem happy," I commented.
"I am, Dr. Larimore. We had the best holiday season ever. It was wonderful!"
I remember smiling and being pleased that Erin had applied these simple principles for physical, emotional, relational and spiritual health during her family's holiday time. They will work for you and your family, too.
Physical Health Tips
Emotional Health Tips
Relational Health Tips
Spiritual Health Tips
May your family also experience joy and peace, memories and fellowship, worship and wonder during this most wonderful time of the year.
Walt Larimore, M.D., is one of America's most recognized family physicians. He is the best-selling author of several books, including God's Design for the Highly Healthy Person (Zondervan) and SuperSized Kids (Centre Street). His most recent release and first novel is, TSI: The Gabon Virus (Howard Books). Larimore lives with his wife, Barb, in Colorado. Visit www.DrWalt.com for more information on this subject and many other health-related topics.