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The Stress of Special Holidays
By Joy Abrams

Stress may be the first thing that comes into your mind when you think of special holidays. Too often holidays are accompanied by the emotional whiplash of anticipatory stress and post holiday letdown. It can take months to recover from this kind of stress.

There are many factors that contribute to your holiday stress:

Emphasizing gift giving
Remember people are more important than things events or tasks.

Assuming all responsibility
It should not be your full responsibility for the holidays to be a success.

Sad memories
The memories of those we have loved and lost are often an invading thought that causes stress during the holidays.

Unrealistic Expectations
The expectations that all will run smooth or that certain relatives will come or not come has a stressful impact on you.

Feeling lonely after holiday visits.
Many people have a great letdown after family members return to their homes after a holiday visit. Others are just plain lonely and feel isolated during the holidays.

Here are some tips to reduce your holiday stress:

Share the work
You cannot possibly do everything. Plan a progressive holiday dinner instead of doing it alone. Let the main focus be on enjoying yourself and those around you .Do not stick to any schedules and work on being flexible.

Be realistic
With every holiday there will be joys and perhaps some sorrow as that is what life is all about. There will be happiness and perhaps some disappointments. Do not expect that those around you will be at their best all the time.

Sad Memories
There will always be some thoughts of those that are no longer with us. Be thankful for the time that you had with them and make the time that you have with others that you love count.

Stick to a good diet and sleep routine
When you are under stress it is easy to get sick so you must get your sleep time in and eat properly.

If you feel lonely or isolated seek out a friend to spend some time with.

Take some time for yourself
Practice yoga and meditation breaks. This will break the stress cycle and have you greet the day with a smile.



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