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Archive for December, 2012
Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Managing Holiday Stress

Managing Holiday Stress


The holiday season is meant to be a time of festivities, togetherness, joy and fun.  While some stress in our lives is positive, too much stress can have a negative impact on our health, both mentally and physically.  We often experience too much of a good thing during the holiday season.  Too many activities during the holiday season can leave us feeling frazzled and frustrated rather than fulfilled and happy. 


Plan your budget now. Work out what you can afford; budget for presents, extra consumption, a few luxuries and some recreation.  Don't feel pressured to overspend on anything.  Share the news with family that you’re cutting back this year. Tell them why. They will understand and may even feel relieved.


Get plenty of exercise. This is always good for reducing stress.  Take in a winter activity like skating, cross country skiing, or snowshoeing.  Go for a walk.  When you visit those stores, park further away than necessary, avoid crowded escalators or elevators, and take the stairs instead.   


Allow yourself to have fun. You don’t have to work continuously or over-stretch yourself. Others will get enjoyment out of you being relaxed and happy. Let yourself and others do what they want.   


Let go of the things you can't control. If you do accept those stressful invitations, remember you can't control the behavior and attitudes of those people around you. You can't control their drinking, smoking, eating or inappropriate remarks. 


Do something nice for yourself.  Take a break. Schedule a post-party facial or pedicure. Take the dog for a long walk. Take in a movie you've wanted to see. After all, there should be something in the holiday for you, not just for everyone else.


The key to coping, particularly at holiday time, is knowing how to use stress to get energized about the upcoming festivities and how to protect yourself from the kind of high anxiety that can lead you to feel exhausted, burnt out and irritated. 


Compiled from:


“Managing Holiday Stress”, Public Health Agency of Canada,


“Tips for Managing Holiday Madness”, Simma Lieberman, Simma Lieberman Associates,




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