SHELBYVILLE, IL – The holiday season has begun. One only needs to turn on the TV or open a newspaper to see holiday ads for all kinds of consumers’ needs. This time of year can bring great joy to our lives, and it can also cause great stress.  

Suzanne Clarke, M.D. from the HSHS Good Shepherd Family Clinic wants to share some tips so that our patrons may enjoy the holiday season without undue stress:

  • Don't overconsume alcohol. Holiday parties bring opportunities to see friends and enjoy merriment but remember to practice moderation.

  • Concentrate on family connections instead of material ones. It is easy to get caught up in a consumer-driven approach to give that perfect gift. Remember that celebrating with the right people is more important than what is under the tree.

  • Exercise helps burn stress and refocuses energy. As holiday stress becomes an issue, take time for you. Go for a walk or a workout.

  • Reach out if you are feeling isolated or lonely. Seek religious, social events or community involvement. Volunteering your time is a good way to broaden your friendship circles and to lift your spirits.

  • If you have lost someone during the year, acknowledge your feelings. It’s okay to cry or express your feelings. The first holiday without a loved one can be a stressful time. It’s normal to feel sadness or grief.

  • Yoga is another outlet for stress. HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital offers Golden Yoga and Yoga for Beginners classes through the Wellness for Life program. Call 217-774-6434 for details.

  • Take a breather. Meditation is free and a good way to deal with holiday anxiety.

  • Budget time and dollars and stay within the budget. Before you go shopping, decide how much you want to spend and trim your list to fit your budget. Make a list for your holiday meals and for your shopping. Stick to your lists.

  • Sleep - adults need 7-9 hours of sleep a night to function well.

  • Don’t give up healthy habits. You can stick to a healthy diet and lighten the carb and sugar intake by eating a healthy snack before a big holiday meal or party.

  • Get organized and set a timeline for chores and purchases. A well-planned timeline will save a lot of energy and help relax the bustle of a holiday schedule.

  • Take care of yourself so that you can enjoy such a special time of year with family and friends.

  • Learn to say no when saying yes could leave you feeling resentful or overwhelmed.

  • Also, remember that the birth of our savior and the day of thanks are about celebrating joy in our lives with those we love the most in giving thanks and sharing the joy of our Savior's birth. 

“High levels of stress may cause a multitude of illnesses,” Dr. Clarke said. “It is my hope that this short list of advice will give my patients methods that they may need to avoid anxiety throughout the holiday season. But even the best advice sometimes fails. Should you need us, we are always ready to help.” 

For an appointment to see Dr. Clarke or another provider in the HSHS Good Shepherd Family Clinic, please call (217) 774-4400.
About HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital
Since its inception in 1916, HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital in Shelbyville (GSS) has been dedicated to excellence in healthcare for those living and visiting their communities. GSS has accomplished this by providing comprehensive health services and meeting the needs of patients served through their compassionate care, business integrity and community responsibility. GSS provides a 24/7 emergency department that is fully staffed by physicians and highly-trained nurses, and also features inpatient and outpatient services, including a 24-hour laboratory and an imaging department that meets today’s highest standards for diagnostic imaging technology. GSS has an advanced surgery department and an acute inpatient care unit. Dedicated to being a hometown hospital, GSS’ home health and rehabilitation departments are committed to excellence with a team of professional nurses and therapists providing a variety of medical services and rehabilitative therapies, all designed to help patients heal in their own environment. The group of visiting specialists in the outpatient clinic works closely with GSS to help keep the healthcare services local even if a specialized procedure or exam is required. GSS strives to be the first choice for the community’s healthcare needs. For more information about HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital, visit   

About Hospital Sisters Health System
Hospital Sisters Health System’s (HSHS) mission is to reveal and embody Christ’s healing love for all people through our high-quality Franciscan health care ministry. HSHS provides state-of-the-art health care to our patients and is dedicated to serving all people, especially the most vulnerable, at each of our 15 local systems and physician practices in Illinois (Breese, Decatur, Effingham, Greenville, Highland, Litchfield, O’Fallon, Shelbyville and Springfield) and Wisconsin (Chippewa Falls, Eau Claire, Oconto Falls, Sheboygan and two in Green Bay).  HSHS is sponsored by Hospital Sisters Ministries, and Hospital Sisters of St. Francis is the founding institute. For more information about HSHS, visit For more information about Hospital Sisters of St. Francis, visit

Media Contact

Andrew Dilbeck

HSHS Illinois
Office: 217-464-5610

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