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Reduce Holiday Stress
Reduce Holiday Stress
By Health Education Department,
Multicare Associates of the Twin Cities

Stress is a negative aspect of modern life. When you run up against a challenge, your body reacts by producing chemicals, or hormones that prepare you physically to fight or run away. Since we do not normally fight or run, this puts a strain on our system. It is like revving a car engine while pushing on the brakes. Unfortunately, stress can cause many physical ailments, such as heart disease.

During the holidays our lives become even more stressful as we try to juggle our usual responsibilities with extra holiday preparations. This year, try to keep your holiday season stress to a minimum, by evaluating what is important to you, and then planning how you will get it all done. Here are some tips that may help you manage the stress of the upcoming holiday season.
  • Make a list of the events and activities that are most important to you, and plan to do just those things. Say "no" to all the other opportunities that come your way.
  • Do not expect things to turn out exactly the way you planned, and go with the flow when they do not.
  • Reduce shopping by using mail-order or gift certificates, or do all of your shopping in one place, such as a favorite bookstore.
  • Simplify, simplify, simplify! Will anyone really care if you do not bake twenty different kinds of cookies?
  • Keep your own desires minimal. The more things you own, the less time you have to enjoy them.
  • Plan your time so that you take care of several errands on one trip. You will have more time to spend doing the things you really want to do.
  • Do not be afraid to do less this year than you did last year. It is more important to spend time with the people you love than to spend money on them.
  • Take a few minutes every day to reflect on the joy of the season, and to be thankful for your family, your health, and the blessings of your life.
These tips can help you reduce stress, and make the holidays a pleasure. Doing less may help you enjoy the season more, and that is really the best stress reliever of all.

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