Here’s my recent radio interview on WHCR, New York City about a holistic approach to holiday stress:

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year once again, but it often is a time of increased stress for a variety of reasons. It’s very interesting that we after often stressed during events and seasons that are supposed to bring us joy and happiness.

A 2006 holiday stress survey conducted by the American Psychology Association found that women disproportionately experience stress around the holidays. Women are more likely to feel that stress increases around the holidays (44 percent of women report an increase of stress during the holidays versus 31 percent of men).

For women, stress may be a function of greater family responsibilities during the holidays.  Women say they have a harder time relaxing during the holidays and are more likely to take on all of the tasks associated with family celebrations, such as shopping, cooking, and cleaning.

The survey also found that work related stress is the leading cause of holiday stress.  Meaning, work related stress is aggravated by the additional requirements of the holiday season.  It is very difficult to maintain a work life balance is even more difficult during this time of the year.

Holiday Stress Tips

  1. Commit to enjoying yourself—set that intention to have a good time this season. We often overlook or forget the importance of setting a meaningful intention.
  2. Plan Ahead-Schedule—don’t wait to the last minute!! We’ve all done it—so I am doing my shopping (what little I do now—most of my gifts will be contributions to charitable organizations). Shopping for gifts and holiday meals and parties shouldn’t be at the very last minute.
  3. Maintain your regular health routine—don’t stop exercising or your healthy diet
  4. Plan ahead for the big holiday meals (eat lighter meals, exercise more in the days leading to the feast)
  5. Create a budget and stick to it
  6. Create a plan to deal with difficult people you can’t avoid
  7. Don’t be so hard on yourself—enjoyment is far better than perception
  8. If you’re feeling stressed—do something to interrupt the feeling-laugh, exercise, meditate, take Theanine
  9. Look for the positive side of the season and remember to have fun.
  10. Let go of the picture perfect holiday fantasy and enjoy what’s you have, it is a gift.

Source:
http://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2006/12/holiday-stress.pdf

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