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Four Tips to Survive Holiday Stress

 

The holidays are upon us — a great time of year to enjoy the company of family and friends and to reflect back on the joys of the past year. It’s a shame they’ve become synonymous with stress.

Take some time to get into the right mindset before the holiday hubbub. It will help you manage your anxiety, relieve your worries and make it the “most wonderful time of the year” again.

1. Write it down.
Write down your biggest holiday stressors. Is it money? Not enough time to tackle everything you want? Is there family drama? Spend a few minutes thinking about what causes you the most stress during the holiday season. Once you identify what worries you the most, you can make a plan.

2. Make a plan.
Look at your list and identify what you can do to make the stressful parts of the holidays more manageable. For example, if money is a concern, try to think of ways to cut back on costs. Suggest a family gift exchange, cut back on the number of people you buy presents for, make a budget (and stick to it) and make homemade treats to pass out to teachers, neighbors or co-workers.

3. Just say no.
It’s all too easy to say yes to party invites, gift exchanges and volunteer opportunities. This season, just say no. Politely decline the 20th party invitation you receive or request to help at your child’s school party. Prioritize the things you want to do, and spend the rest of the time with family enjoying the traditions you want to savor.

4. Keep your health a priority.
Don’t let the holidays be an excuse to eat, drink and skip out on exercise. The added stress (and calories) of the holidays are even more reason to eat healthy and stay active. Take advantage of the holidays to make exercise even more fun: Go for a walk or run at night when Christmas lights are on full display or meet friends at a mall to power walk.

Make healthy choices at parties. Enjoy the delicious treats, but be mindful about what you put on your plate. Grab a small plate and load up on fruits and veggies. Pass over the dessert available any time of year and give yourself permission to indulge (wisely) in your favorite holiday treats.

These are just a few simple tips to keep in mind as the holidays approach. As always, be sure to speak with your doctor about any health questions or concerns including any stress you’re feeling. You can find a physician by calling Tanner’s free, 24-hour physician referral line at 770.214.CARE (2273) or select “Find a Doctor” at www.tanner.org.

If you feel your stress is truly getting out of control, you can contact the Willowbrooke at Tanner 24-hour help line at 770.812.9551 at any time to arrange for a free, confidential behavioral health assessment or to speak with a behavioral health professional trained in crisis intervention.

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