PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. (WCAX) Before you wrap up 2017, experts say to make sure you take some time for yourself.
Feeling jolly or blue this holiday season?
"Holidays should be about having fun, relaxing, seeing family and people put a lot of pressure on themselves over the holidays," said Donald Slish, a professor of biological sciences at SUNY Plattsburgh.
Experts say the holidays and that self-imposed pressure may lead to a spike in stress and sadness.
"It's a reminder that they don't have enough or what they've lost instead of what they have, you know, loved ones that have passed," said Patrick Monette, a mental health counselor.
Monette says triggers are all over. He says watching those picture-perfect Christmas movies or even seeing your neighbor's spectacular decorations can do it.
"The expectations-- you know, it can really wear down people's defenses," Monette said.
He tells us even things beyond our control can affect our state of mind.
"I think in the North Country even though it's so beautiful, not having a lot of sun really affects it," Monette said. "That cold really prevents people from getting out; they just want to hibernate."
So how do you survive the holidays? Monette says it's about healthy boundaries and self-care.
"If we don't have reserves for ourselves, we're not taking care of ourselves, we can't give to others the way that we want to," he said.
And he reminds us it's OK to say no, too.
"So it's finding a balance for everyone and everyone's balance is unique and different of saying what they can do but also what they can't do," Monette said.
In the end: "Let yourself have fun, you know, in moderation," Slish advised.
So no need to worry too much about those extra holiday cookies but experts did say it's important to maintain your physical health, too.