Doctors urge you to mind your mental health this holiday season

Doctors urge you to mind your mental health this holiday season
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - The to-do list for Christmas can get long and that can leave some feeling stressed out. To avoid a blue Christmas doctors say you need to be mindful of your mental health and that of those around you.

This time of year can be a lot from the presents to family time, to events and decorations.

"Just trying to fit everything in,” said Michelle Blanz, who has two weeks to see her family and friends while visiting the area. “Trying to get all the gifts bought, get to see everybody do things with people."

The Blanz family took some time outside Friday as a break from the holiday stress. Michelle says what helps her, is a plan.

"You have to plan everything like you have to plan every day, every afternoon you got to just plan it all," said Michelle Blanz.

That's advice Dr. Cobb gives his patients too. He says anxiousness and stress are common during the holidays, but you don't have to let those feelings win.

"It's not just thinking your way to better thoughts that make you happy,” said Dr. D. Keith Cobb, a SouthCoast Health physician. “So, it's staying busy, getting a routine, perhaps medications would be helpful."

Of course, if you're feeling too overwhelmed you need to speak to your doctor. But Dr. Cobb says for those with moderate stress exercise can help and they suggest you make time for things you love.

But doctors also say it's not all about you, they suggest you also look out for others, especially those grieving this holiday.

"Often when you go through the holidays and you've lost someone in the last year you miss things at Christmas you didn't think you were going to miss or you hadn't even thought of," said Dr. Cobb.

For others facing holiday stress, they say what helps them is to remember why they do it all.

"Although it was kind of stressful getting here and trying to get all the gifts together,” explained Chasity Griffin, who was traveling to see her family. “We do it because we love our family and we want to spend time with them during this precious time of year."

Another tip from doctors, is to set boundaries and don’t be afraid to say no this holiday season. They want you to stay healthy and happy as you celebrate.

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