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Counting blessings to keep stress at bay

Drew Werner

What do I get my family and friends for Christmas? When am I going to finish putting up the lights? Where am I going for dinner this Thanksgiving? Should I stay here for a New Year’s party that sounds awesome or go to my in-laws like every year? When will I find time to write this article? Should I go boarding tomorrow or stay home and nurse my broken finger? I better get going and put the racks on the car!

It must be tough to have to make such choices, you are probably saying. In truth, this season is the most stressful of the year. It doesn’t seem like it should be that way. Perhaps that is why it is can be even more difficult for many of us.

I could write my column for the next 12 months and still not cover everything I should about stress. It is different for each of us and affects each of us in a different way. A big part of what we can do is take the time to stop and reflect on ourselves, our families and what we have to be thankful for.



Here’s part of my list, I hope some of it surprises you.

I’m thankful for flu shots, so we don’t get sick. I’m thankful for the flu because there is nothing like being ill to truly appreciate feeling well.



I’m thankful for the food I eat every day and especially thankful for my wife, who is such a great cook. I’m thankful for the steer and lamb we were fortunate to buy at this year’s Junior Livestock Auction (thanks Laura and Casey). I’m thankful, too, for remembering to diet when my pants start getting tight.

I’m thankful for the mountains covered with snow and the chances I’ll have to ride. I’m thankful for the lift passes that will take me up the hill. I’m thankful, too, for remembering that it can be just as fun putting on boots or snowshoes and going for a hike.

I’m thankful for my work and for the great people I work with – they make it easy to keep a smile on my face. I’m thankful for my patients, who have put their trust in me. I’m thankful even when I see someone late at night or on the weekend – it reminds me that we must give to receive.



I’m thankful for all my wonderful friends, and for 45-minute trips to City Market (saying hi to all of you) just to get some milk.

I’m thankful for my family and thankful that they’re thankful for me.

I hope you can come up with your own list. Sometimes it is surprising what you might find on it. Take time this holiday season to truly enjoy it. Go for a walk in the snow. Strap on the snowshoes for a journey into the mountains. Ride the chairlift up to the top, then stop and be thankful for all you see. Forget about the crowds. We put enough stress on ourselves already.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Please keep your questions coming in!.The only bad question is the unanswered one.

Dr. Drew Werner of the Eagle Valley Medical Center writes a weekly column for the Daily. He encourages health questions. Write him by e-mail to editor@vaildaily.com or c/o Editor, Vail Daily, P.O. Box 81, Vail, 81658.


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