Nothing shagadelic about losing your mojo

How to fight the Vise-Grip of depression between the two new year’s holidays

Wolf to barmaid: What does Christmas celebrate?
Barmaid: (Strikes a thoughtful pose) It celebrates Christmas Day.
Wolf: It’s Jesus’ birthday.
Barmaid: Wow! Really?

Well, the annual shopping holiday, otherwise known as Christmas, is finally over. Hopefully everyone enjoyed their Christmas Mos Burger with rice cake buns and miso soup. At least no one will be gagging down leftover turkey sandwiches and watching to see how long it takes beets to go off in the fridge.

But unfortunately, this holly, jolly time of the year can also be a real bummer for some. Not only do foreigners have to spend “family time” away from their loved ones, they have to contend with two new year’s holidays – the Chinese one and the “real” one. The first one has come and gone, of course, but some Forumosans were prepared to turn over a new leaf (New Year’s Resolutions – Open Forum).

Mod lang: “Get drunk. Get laid. Not necessarily in that order.” OK, maybe not everyone is breaking new ground, like funnymonkey who vowed to quit smoking “for the thirteenth year in a row.” But at least some wished to make their world a better place, as in richardm’s new year’s resolution to “sever all ties with the Bamboo Union and get them to return my blender. I will become outraged more often.”

But while richardm is back to mixing frozen mango and squid daiquiris, some are truly in the dumps. Several people in the thread Dealing with a serious mojo low…. – Health Forum have asked for help to deal with depression. It is important and laudable that these people bring up the subject with such candor since the first step in getting help is admitting that you need it.
A good place to start, and one that costs you nothing, is the Community Services Center in Tianmu (http://www.community.com.tw), as suggested by braxtonhicks. The good thing about the center is that they have years of dealing with the concerns of foreigners in Taiwan and can give you good advice as where to seek further assistance, should you need it.

There are two distinct avenues to pursue here. One, advocated initially by rantheman, is medicinal: “I go to Taida Hospital. The clinic is pretty good, though they focus more on medicine as an approach. It’s not psychology, but medicine helps a lot to get you out of this bad feeling.”
But not all solutions come from the bottom of a medicine bottle, as jlick points out: “Everyone is different, but if you have real issues to deal with, talk therapy is a good idea, but the medicinal approach may be needed if talk therapy isn’t helping.”

But perhaps one of the simplest solutions is to use the body’s natural medicine chest to unlock the better you from within. Yeti says that “exercise, especially of the aerobic variety, releases ‘feel good’ chemicals known as endorphins in the brain, which are known to regulate mood and allow the body to better deal with stressful situations.” Not only is this a good idea, it may be even easier than you think since yeti adds that “eating chocolate, sex and meditation are also associated with endorphin release, if you’re looking for alternatives.” I don’t know about the last one, but the first two seem like real winners to me.

Hoedad concurs with the natural method, pointing out that “our bodies are genetically encoded for hours of physical work every day. Living our modern, sedentary lives causes all sorts of chemical imbalances in our brains and other organs. Just try it.” Just try it! Hmmm…great slogan for a shoe company….

At any rate, the key is to be proactive and get out there and find some help. And as Francis puts it: “If you do find the answer, I’ll have a pint of it.”

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Wolf Reinhold is a moderator on www.formosa.com, a discussion forum for Taiwan’s online community.

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