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Holiday Stress: T’is the Season

The holidays can be a time for rejoicing and for getting together with friends and loved ones.  But it can also be a time of increased stress and conflict.  The social commitments, family obligations (and arguments), over indulgence on food and drinks, and the never ending shopping list can all lead to holiday burn-out.  The lack of sun and shorter days this time of year doesn’t help either and, for some people, can bring on outright symptoms of depression.

Here are some tips of how to de-stress over the holidays and make the season jolly.

1.  Learn how to say ‘NO’ and do not over commit.  You don’t have to say yes to every holiday party or outing you are invited to.

2.  Don’t give up your healthy lifestyle – watch your alcohol consumption, get lots of sleep and moderate exercise, and try to get outside in the morning to get some fresh air.

3.  Have some alone time – take time for a long bath, to read a book, do something just for you that you find enjoyable.

4.  Plan ahead with your holiday shopping – set a clear budget and tackle your list well a head of time so that you aren’t caught shopping in the holiday madness.

5.  Take time to slow down and notice small moments – the excitement of kids this time of year, the beauty of a decorated christmas tree, the fresh smell of coffee, and even the christmas music playing in the mall.

7. Let go of expectations – the holidays don’t have to be perfect and everybody does not have to get along.  Try to make the best of what you have.

8. Finally, if you recognize that your holiday stress is severe or unrelenting, take time and get some professional help.