With celebrations everywhere this time of year, many health experts say it’s important to remember that emotional issues, and mood disorders may climb as gatherings and social pressures magnify certain tensions.

Often, the primary cause of holiday blues can be unrealistic expectations.

“I think adjusting one’s expectations for one’s family is a really important thing. I have clients who want this concept of a Norman Rockwell family, and it’s hard to find those real Norman Rockwell families. People have them, but they’re in paintings,” says Rosalind Dorlen, a private practice clinical psychologist in Summit, New Jersey.

Psychologists suggest keeping up with your normal routines this time of year, even though your life may feel more hectic. The professionals offer these tips:

* Get enough sleep and exercise. Both can cut down on stress, and will help you feel healthy, even though you may feel stretched socially.

*  Keep your routine. Don’t stop doing what makes you feel good, even if you are busier.

*  Be aware. Remember that it’s normal to not always feel jolly this time of year, and that’s okay, but if you’re feeling particularly depressed, see someone.      Time Healthland 12/18/13

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