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December 4th, 2013

This Week in Orange County 12-4-13

Orange County Executive Edward Diana
It’s hard to believe that another holiday season is upon us. Happy Hanukkah to our friends and neighbors who are celebrating the festival of lights – may it be a time of joy and happiness for you and your family. This year marks the first time since the late 19th century that the first day of Hanukkah falls on the same day as Thanksgiving. In fact, it is so rare to have Thanksgiving and Hanukkah fall on the same day that the next time it’s scheduled to happen is 79,000 years from now!

The holiday season is a favorite time of year for many. For others, it can be a time of stress or even sadness. If you face the holidays with reluctance and trepidation, there are ways to cope and make it manageable and even enjoyable for you and those around you. If you are already experiencing stress in other areas of your life, you may be especially vulnerable to increased anxiety during the holidays. However, it is important to view the holidays as an opportunity to enhance your psychological well-being. Remember, there are conscious steps you can take to prevent holiday stress and ensure a worry-free season.

If you find yourself dealing with depression or anxiety during the holiday season, there are many things you can do. One of the most important things you can do is to set realistic goals for yourself. Also, try to divide large tasks into smaller ones.

Another important step you can take to decrease your stress during the holidays, and any other time for that matter, is to think positively. It does you no good if you continually have a negative outlook on things. No matter what your situation, if you try, you can find something positive. Continue to educate yourself about depression and don’t wait too long to get evaluated or treated. Research shows the longer one waits, the greater the impairment can be down the road. Try to see a professional as soon as possible.

To help keep the holidays happy, there are several tips you can use. Keep your commitments in check and don’t overbook yourself. Take time to balance work, home and play. Turn to family and friends for help and support. Maintain a relaxed positive outlook. Make time for yourself. Eat right, exercise, and get plenty of sleep.

For more healthy living information, visit the Orange County Department of Mental Health web page at   

May your holiday season be merry and bright.

Until next week, wishing you health and happiness.

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