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Minimize Holiday Stress

The holidays can be one of the most stressful times of the year for many Americans. Whether it’s family dynamic pressures, or self imposed pressures of cooking a meal, or feeling like everything needs to be just so, the holidays can be tough.

Don’t fear, we have a few simple tips and techniques to help not just get you through, but to make sure you “live, thrive, and survive.” So, don’t dread the holidays, embrace them!

  1. Smile – Research shows that when we turn that frown upside down we actually release endorphins that help change our mood and make us happier. Smiling is universal, and studies have shown that it’s used to communicate emotions worldwide.
  2. Make time for yourself – Get a facial, a massage, a manicure, or whatever your personal “me time” may be, take the time for yourself, and do it!
  3. Keep exercising – At the very least take a brisk walk every day to clear your thoughts, and get you blood pumping. This will not only release endorphins that give you that “runner’s high,” but will also help you feel less guilty about any extra calories you may be eating during the season.
  4. Set realistic goals – Baking cookies for the entire neighborhood is not necessary.
  5. Keep a list and prioritize – We can’t do everything all at once. It’s true at work, and it’s true for home and holiday planning as well. Make a list of all of the things that need to get done. Be realistic, and prioritize them using “A” for the most important (buying the turkey for instance), “B” for the next most important (buying your mom’s favorite condiment), and “C” for the less important things (ironing the curtains). You’ll shoot for doing all of the A’s, and most of the B’s, but you’re not going to stress out when you don’t get to the C’s.
  6. Accept what is – Be compassionate and accept family members without internalizing criticism. Realize that they may be stressed too, and criticize as a defense against their own stress. Remember, you can’t change people; you can only change how you react to them.
  7. Make good choices – Make good choices regarding alcohol and high calorie foods.
  8. Enjoy – Relax and have fun no matter what occurs!

Contact me by e-mail, or by calling me at The Adams Center in my Peabody office at 978-531-0550, or 617-262-2208 in my Boston office for more information on this post, or any other information in my Blog.

Dr. Bill Adams is a greater Boston area board certified plastic surgeon with over 25 years of experience in the field.