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Hospital offers tips on surviving the holidays

For many people, the holidays are a time to celebrate with family and friends. For others, though, the additional responsibilities of shopping, cooking and decorating outweigh the pleasures of the holidays. For those who have lost loved ones or are experiencing other stresses, this can be a particularly difficult time of the year.

The hustle and bustle can be overwhelming, so it is a good idea to prepare mentally for the days to come according to the Norwalk Hospital Department of Psychiatry.

The behavioral health specialists offer the following advice: For starters, be realistic about how much money to spend on presents and the way in which your family traditions or spiritual events are celebrated.

Lateef Habib, clinical coordinator of outpatient services for the Department of Psychiatry, said, "Do not mistakenly assume that you are the only one for whom the holidays are not perfect. If you believe that everyone else is well organized, has enough money, goes to fun and exciting parties, and is generally happier, you may develop a real case of the `holiday blues.' "

These feelings can cause overeating, drinking too much, arguing with loved ones or feeling anxious and depressed, he added.

Norwalk Hospital offers the following holiday tips for relieving stress:

Set up practical, realistic family traditions.

Practice time and money management.

Talk with family and friends about expectations.

Anticipate your problem areas (for example, alcohol, drugs and food).

Do not attend parties when you are hungry and tired.

Limit your holiday socializing to truly meaningful events.

For information, call 203-852-2988.

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