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Health > Under the Rainbow12/14/11 IS Online

Ho Ho Holidays

Tips to help avoid the holiday blues.

By Craig DeSilva

The holiday season is usually a time of joy when friends and ‘ohana get together to celebrate. But it can also be an anxious or sad time for many.

Stress levels rise when people try to do too much between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. They feel pressured to cook the perfect meal, buy the perfect gift, or see all of their friends and family. Crowded malls, traffic, and holiday spending also add to the anxiety.

The holidays can also trigger feelings of sadness. It’s a time when people think of the loss of a loved one or unhappy memories of past holidays. Family issues and conflicts can also surface.

Don’t let the holidays get you down. Here are some tips from the Mayo Clinic that will have you singing “fa la la la la” instead of muttering “bah, humbug” this season:

Be realistic. The holidays don’t have to be perfect or the same as past years. Families change and grow every year, and so do traditions and rituals. Choose a few to hold on to and be open to creating new ones.

Plan ahead. Avoid last-minute scrambling. Reserve time for shopping, baking, wrapping gifts, or visiting family and friends. Plan your days and make a to-do list to keep organized. Allow time for traffic, crowded parking lots, and long lines at the mall.

Stick to a budget. Decide how much you can afford to spend. Don’t feel pressured to buy everyone a gift. Consider making homemade gifts.

Make time for yourself. Continue your normal exercise routine. Exercise can help relieve stress.

For more tips on how to enjoy the holiday season, visit the Mayo Clinic website.

Island Scene Online is not intended to replace the advice of health care professionals. Please consult your physician for your personal needs and before making any changes in your lifestyle.
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