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Seasonal Tips

Preparing for Holiday Stress

The winter holiday season is upon us. For many, it is the most wonderful time of the year but even those that share that sentiment can also find it to be the most stressful time of the year. Consider these tips to keep the comfort and joy flowing and leave the stress behind.

1. Reflect on past years before the start of the season. Take some time now to think about past holiday seasons. Acknowledge the feelings that you had. Recognize what triggered stress then, so you can try to avoid it this time. Did you overspend? Did you not plan ahead? Did you take on too much? Did you take someone else’s stress personally?

2. Practice mindfulness. Mindfulness means focusing only on the present. If you are at a celebration, be focused on enjoying your time there, not what you have to do tomorrow. Do not lose sight of what these holidays really mean to you, whether it is a religious focus or a time to make memories with family or both. If you are feeling overwhelmed, take a breath and focus on the real joy of this season.

3. Plan, plan, plan. Plan ahead for everything. Plan your budget and stick to it. Plan out any shopping you have to do or meals you will have to make and mark on the calendar when you will do it. Plan what parties and events you will attend and if the calendar is getting too full, plan to say no to some of them.

4. Don’t abandon your healthy habits. Overeating is, of course, very tempting but it can add to our feelings of stress. So do your best to just have a little bit of all the things you like. Or, if you know you can’t resist that extra slice of pie, go for an extra walk and you’ll feel much better about it.

5. Reach out. If you're getting too overwhelmed with tasks, ask for help. If you are feeling lonely, make a phone call to a distant relative or friend or find ways to help others. There are plenty of organizations that need volunteers this time of year. If you are missing a lost loved one, think of something they loved about the holiday and find a way to do something in their honor. If none of that is working, reach out to your doctor.

Bayhealth wishes you the happiest and healthiest holiday season and remember, we are always here if you need us.

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