De-stress, not distress for happier holidays
MUNCY – Get rid of stress and take time for yourself was the message given by Stacey Horton, community health educator at Susquehanna Health at the Life Center in the Lycoming Mall last Thursday, as people were heading home from work.
“Holiday stressors can often lead to the alarm phase,” she said, “and this is when the body goes into a fight or flight response.” Often we are trying to juggle too much from shopping, cooking, cleaning, entertaining, and travel along with other daily responsibilities, On top of this, many of us suffer from financial worries. “I get stressful every year because I never have enough money to get everything I want for gifts,” said Charlene Fitzgerald. A surge of adrenaline goes through us and in extreme cases, some people lose bodily functions cautioned Horton.
Too much stress can lead to the exhaustion phase which can ultimately lead to shock, she explained. Chronic stress is unhealthy because it pushes a constant increase of blood volume which could lead to high blood pressure and other related illnesses. She offered several suggestions and ways to overcome stress during these busy times as well as providing some valuable resources.
The following are suggestions on how to deal with all of this stress during the holidays:
Budget your time and prioritize what is important. So what if there are pet hairs. It is Ok to say “no” without being negative. Devote your time with others in smaller intervals.
* Brainstorm early. Make lists for potential gift ideas. Have budgets and research prices.
Shop the sales. Use coupons. Go to www.couponcabin.com for free offers.
Avoid long lines and go online to find out what major department stores are offering free shipping at www.freeshipping.org. FREE SHIPPING DAY is Friday, Dec. 17. At this site get to links from more than 600 select merchants with guarantees to ship in time for Christmas.
Also check manufacturer websites for additional coupons and sales.
Do not build credit. Stick to a budget. Ask stores if they have a Bill Me Plan, or start a Christmas Club account at your bank or credit union. Compare the interest rates.
Ask the stores if they have a lay-away plan and what the fees and deadlines are.
Learn a new craft or skill and make someone a gift or heirloom. Look at ways to do some creative gift wrapping and make it a family tradition.
Baking is a good alternative to buying expensive gifts. All family members can help.
No time to bake? Package the recipe together with the baked ingredients on a nice card in a basket.
* Have a gift exchange or exchange personal services for one another.
Meet friends and visit your favorite department stores for make-overs or a new look to share.
Take time for yourself. Go to a movie or matinee.
Above all else, nothing has to be perfect all the time. “It is almost impossible,” said Horton. “Most loved ones will forgive a little dust or pet hairs.”
Laughter is the best medicine for stress. Go find a friend and bust your stress!