holiday-stress-300x199No matter what you may have on your Christmas list, there is one item that you will never include, and that’s stress! Yet, for many of us, that is exactly what we get for Christmas, lots and lots of stress.  The demands of gift exchange, social events, relative visits, overeating, traffic and here in Chicago potential bad winter weather, is enough to send even the jolliest of jolly people into hysterics.  Although it is hard not to be stressed during the holidays, it is important to manage the stress so that you can stay in control and enjoy this glorious time of the year.

Realize that stress is a part of the holiday season.  No matter how many times we say, “I’m not going to let the holidays get the best of me,” by December 30  feelings of despair have reached maximum.  Know that demands of the holidays, though many, are only for a short time.  Get organized.  This will keep some anxiety at bay.  Set a budget, keep lists and shop early.  Still too much?  Enlist family and friends to help.  Divide up things to be done in close proximity so that no one is going from one side of town to the other.

Relaxation is a key factor in keeping stress at bay.  While you are taking care of everything and everyone else, don’t forget yourself.  If you don’t take care of yourself, you will be no good for family and friends.  That’s true whatever the time of year.  So remember to stop, light some candles and take a bath.  Put on your favorite movie and laugh.  Get a massage and a haircut.  Give yourself a gift.  It will be exactly what you want!

Lastly, remember the reason for the season.  Christmas is a joyous time of year, when we celebrate the great gift of all.  Remember the love and pass our yours to others! Love is the gift that keeps on giving!

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