Beat the Holiday Blues Brought to you by Lake Norman Regional Medical Center

Mooresville, NC (November 11, 2013) -- Mentally prepare for the holidays

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, we’re just a few weeks away from that beloved — and sometimes dreaded — time of year, the holidays. It’s a time for family, friends, parties and yearly traditions, often a whirlwind of activities.

With so much celebration and merriment, why does this time of year often bring on the blues? Consider some of the things that can make us feel badly about ourselves: Overindulging in food and alcohol, feeling overwhelmed and over-committed, lack of exercise and sleep, unrealistic expectations … All of these behaviors and feelings are common during the holidays, so it’s no wonder so many people feel down.

Although the holidays can be hectic and challenging, they don’t have to wreak havoc on your emotional well-being. To help you prepare for a more joyful holiday season, Lake Norman Regional Medical Center would like to offer some tips for keeping the holiday blues away.

Tips for a happy holiday season

Even if previous years have been emotionally taxing, it doesn’t mean this year has to be. The first step is to approach this year with a positive attitude and a plan. The health team at Lake Norman Regional Medical Center suggests the following tips to make this a happy holiday season:

  • Consider what’s important. It’s not the presents, the food, how you look or about whether your house is perfectly clean, it’s about spending time with others. Try to accept people for who they are and focus on their positive attributes and what you have in common, rather than how you’re different.
  • Maintain healthy habits. Make a point to exercise, which will improve your mood and self-esteem, and get plenty of sleep. To avoid overindulging at a party, don’t arrive famished. Have healthy snacks throughout the day so you’re less likely to overdo it. If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation — remember, alcohol is a depressant. You shop for presents, plan meals, make travel arrangements or ready the house for guests — you do lots of things to prepare for the holidays. This year, why not take the time to get mentally prepared as well? By putting these tips into practice, you can minimize holiday stress. Who knows, this could be the best holiday season yet.
  • Reach out to others. If you feel alone or isolated, seek out a community center, church or other organization where you can be with others. Volunteering can also lift your spirits, and those of the people you help, can help create or strengthen friendships. Helping others can give you a sense of accomplishment and purpose. Plan ahead by researching local organizations and find a volunteer activity that resonates with you.
  • Learn to say no. Be realistic about what you can handle. Agreeing to do things that you don’t have time for or want to do can make you feel resentful and overwhelmed. People will understand if you can’t attend every event or take on every task. Don’t overcommit yourself to exhaustion.
  • Take time for yourself. Taking some quiet time every day — just 15 minutes can help — to relax, clear your mind, and reduce stress is important. Listen to soothing music, take a walk, or slip away somewhere quiet to give yourself a break. You’ll be better prepared to handle the tasks ahead with a calm, clear mind.

About Lake Norman Regional Medical Center

Lake Norman Regional Medical Center offers comprehensive medical care to individuals throughout the greater Lake Norman region. Located just off I-77 at Exit 33, the Mooresville medical campus offers complete specialty services from 24-hour emergency medicine and maternity to oncology and advanced surgical services.