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Opening the Doors to Healthier and Stress-Free Living

A Column by Alice Abbott-Moore,
Content Access/Information Delivery Teams, Ekstrom Library

Fending Off the Holiday Blues

The holidays are approaching quickly. Already, Christmas music is being played on the radio, decorations have been up for a while with more on the way, and people have begun the wintery derby to get presents.

Nevertheless, for some folks, the holidays are not the happy times depicted in literature, memories, stories, and song. A lot of the unhappiness during such a time can be attributed to stress on the body, spirit, and pocketbook.

The Body:

Be sure to keep a regular regimen during the holidays. During this time, a lot of folks get into uneven sleep and food patterns that take away from the joy of the season.

The Spirit:

If the holidays are lonely for you, consider volunteering at a local charity. You will feel better helping those who have less than you and you will make some new friends.

If the family scene has the possibility of being stressful consider taking the following steps:

If the family scene is too stressful, one may consider not attending, but write a nice note or make a nice phone call to let the family know that they are in your thoughts.

The Pocketbook:

To avoid financial stress, assess the need to give a lot of presents, especially expensive ones. Are you over-spending to fulfill some expectation of receiving? Love given through gift giving can be tricky and stressful on the finances. 70% of Americans get into serious credit card debt from overspending during the holidays (Hughes, p.22). Such debt creates a lot of stress not only on the pocketbook but the mind as well. To avoid such a situation, try the following:

The holidays are almost here. With a little advance planning, the festive times to come can be very pleasurable indeed.

Hughes, Dennie. (2000) “Relation Tips--Not so merry,” USA Weekend, Nov. 24-26, p. 22.