How to manage holiday stress

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Holidays are joyful times, but they can also be stressful, and stress rarely brings out the best in us.

If there’s a “Scrooge” in your life – or if you feel a bit “Grinchy” yourself – consider what might be causing the difficult emotions. If it’s just a passing mood, chalk it up to a bad day. If it lingers for long, seek a little extra help.

Here are some ideas to help you or a loved one keep a healthy outlook through the holidays. Try to:

• Spend time with friends.

• Do things you enjoy, not only things you feel you have to do.

Get plenty of rest. The better you feel, the better a holiday can be.

• Think about others. Helping those less fortunate than you can make you feel better.

• Get money off your mind. Money problems are a leading cause of holiday depression. Focus on the spirit of the season.

• Watch what you eat and drink. Eat healthy foods, watch your portion sizes and avoid alcohol.

Remember:

Be realistic. Try not to build up the holiday too much in your mind.

• Say no sometimes. People will understand if you don’t do things. Wearing yourself out will make you feel worse.

• It’s okay to be sad or lonely. You don’t have to be happy just because it’s the holiday season.

Get help if you need it. Seek out family or friends for support. Community or church groups can help too. If things get bad, talk with your doctor or counselor.

Brought to you by the primary care providers with PeaceHealth Medical Group in Bellingham.

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