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The following article was published in Your Health Magazine. Our mission is to empower people to live healthier.
Connie Hambrock, PhD
Five Ways To Cope With Holiday Stress
Hambrock Holistic Healing Center
. http://hambrockholistichealing.net/

Five Ways To Cope With Holiday Stress

The holidays are supposed to be a time of joy. We want to get together and enjoy the peace of the Winter holidays. Unfortunately for most of us, the holidays are very stressful. We run around trying to get the perfect gift for the imperfect person on our list.
Many people are successful enough that they don’t need to wait for a holiday in order to get what they want under the tree. This makes it hard to buy them something they don’t already have.
Stress is also created by traffic and all the people who only get on the road during the holidays. Another stress is having to clean, decorate and prepare a meal for many people that you expect will be judgmental.
More heart attacks occur during the holidays because of this stress toward perfection. Most everyone would like to show that they are successful and have a beautiful house that is Martha Stewart decorated and Paula Deen catered. This is stress that we create for ourselves.
Here are five ways to get through this stressful holiday season.
•  First is to breathe. Take a deep breath to the count of 8, then hold for the count of 4, then breathe out to the count 8. This relaxes the chest muscles and allows you to recenter.
• Second is to accept that nothing in life is perfect and that perfection isn’t necessary to enjoy the magic and spirit of the holidays.
• Third is to take time to think back on the happy things that you remember about the holidays. What are the activities that brought you joy in your childhood? Ask yourself what can I do that will recreate that feeling? In the future when you look back it is the memories of time spent together with the loved ones that matter the most.
• Fourth is taking time to make something for your loved one. Baking a favorite pumpkin bread. Or some small item that they will cherish.
• Fifth is do something funny with wrapping the gifts. If you are dealing with children, they often like the wrapping or a big box as much as the toy inside. Every year my folks would wrap one really big box with a really small gift inside. After unwrapping the big box there were successively smaller boxes to unwrap to get to the prize on the very inside. Unwrapping was half the fun.

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