Surviving the Cruelest Month

Short days, seasonal changes and holiday pressures can take a toll on us in December. Here’s how to deal.

By Sarah Rufca Nielsen November 29, 2015 Published in the December 2015 issue of Houstonia Magazine

Shutterstock 166836944 lbanvs

Okay, maybe it’s not that bad.

Image: Shutterstock


Cause: Thanks to record heat in October, always-brutal fall allergens like ragweed and mold are still in full swing, leading to killer sinus congestion and headaches.
Remedy: Allegra, neti pot
Alternative: Eat something—anything—slathered in the nuclear green salsa from
Tacos Tierra Caliente.

Seasonal Affective Disorder

Cause: There’s something about the dark, short days that can cause an uptick in the winter blues.
Remedy: Light exposure, melatonin
Alternative: Ring in the New Year in sun-soaked Cabo San Lucas—insurance covers that, right?

Quarterback-Related Ennui

Cause: Win or lose, the Texans still don’t have a franchise quarterback on the roster.
Remedy: Draft one.
Alternative: Clone J.J. Watt, then teach the clone to play the position.

Dry Skin and Lips

Cause: Even in humid Houston, cooler temps can dry out your skin, leaving you itchy and uncomfortable.
Remedy: Humidifiers, lotions, lip balm
Alternative: Take fewer showers, and toss your razor until spring. Your true friends will pretend not to notice.

Holiday Burnout

Cause: Shopping for gifts, decorating the house, buying a tree, baking treats, mailing holiday cards, coordinating travel, attending galas and kids’ concerts and office parties…
Remedy: Plan ahead, manage your calendar, optimize your time and make it look easy.
Alternative: To hell with all that. ’Tis the season to binge on Netflix.

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