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2002 News from Mecklenburg County

December 18, 2002

COUNTY AREA MENTAL HEALTH AUTHORITY OFFERS TIPS TO HELP COPE WITH HOLIDAY STRESS

CHARLOTTE, NC -- Even though the holidays are traditionally the happiest time of the year, they also bring a surprising amount of more "difficult" emotions including stress, anxiety, and depression.

Dr. Elizabeth Peterson-Vita, clinical director for the Mecklenburg County Area Mental Health Authority offers the following tips for  "beating the holiday blues":

1. Plan events and activities reasonably. If every waking moment is scheduled, there's no time left for relaxation and enjoyment!

2. Let go of perfectionism -- fun and perfection seldom go together!

3. It's an old cliché, but the holidays are not about material goods. Going into debt is not what the holidays are about, and will really make you depressed afterward!

4. If certain family traditions don't seem to work anymore, don't be afraid to try new ones, maybe with a new circle of family or friends!

5. Reach out to people who've experienced hardships over the year. You can help others and help yourself!

6. You don't need to eat and drink to excess to be merry. Moderation will help prevent post-holiday crashing and self-recrimination.

7. If you already have some challenges related to anxiety or depression, anticipate any "triggers" and plan accordingly. 

8.   If your anxiety or depression is significant, or seems to be persisting, seek advice from a mental health professional.  The guidance and support may be the best present you can give yourself!



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