Boston, MA (PRWEB) November 21, 2011
The holidays are a time of festivity, gifts and delicious holiday foods. Yet the season can also be stressful and lonely. Dr. Lyle Miller, Chief Psychologist at AboveStress, Inc. offers a few quick tips on how to savor the season without getting stressed out:
1) Family Stress: Avoid age-old disagreements. Focus on togetherness.
Tension between family members often surfaces during the holidays. We can easily slip into old patterns: adults can become children vying for parents’ affection, while others may revisit insecurities or habits they practiced as teenagers. Be mindful of falling into old habits/roles while avoiding age-old disagreements. Focus on cherishing the time spent together, however imperfect or flawed it may be.
2) Shopping Stress: Do not be a perfectionist. Be flexible and creative.
The stress of shopping -- as well as the stress of fighting holiday crowds and navigating traffic -- can be overwhelming. Shop during off-peak hours, as early in the season as possible, and if possible, online. Most people appreciate the thought behind a gift, so do not be rigid about finding the ‘perfect’ gift for everyone. Shop at stores that offer excellent customer service and return policies. When in doubt, gift cards are always a great choice!
3) Holiday Eating Stress: Eat mindfully and plan ahead.
Often, the pervading fear that we might gain weight negates the actual pleasure in our favorite holiday foods, leading to stress-induced binges later on. Don’t go to a party starving; eat something healthy beforehand and drink plenty of water. Set limits. If you look forward to your grandmother’s famed sugar cookies, decide beforehand to eat one cookie, savor every bite, and then move on. Drinks should be accompaniments to conversations and companionship, not the focus.
4) Stress for Being Alone: Proactively reach out and make connections.
The holidays – though filled with social events – can also be filled with loneliness, which can settle in after the party when you are by yourself. Try to divert the attention from yourself by focusing outward: reach out to other friends who may also be lonely by suggesting a coffee date. Engage in activities that allow you to meet new people, such as volunteering at a church homeless shelter or taking a cooking class. If your family lives far away, pick up the telephone or schedule a Skype chat.
5) Increase stress resiliency: Maintain good sleep, exercise, and dietary habits.
Good sleep, exercise and dietary habits often get thrown out the window when they are needed most. Get 7 to 8 hours of sleep as many nights as possible and at least a half hour of moderate exercise four times a week. If you dislike the gym, call a friend to schedule a walk/talk date or try a dance class. Do not overindulge in alcohol and sugary foods, as their effects will render you more susceptible to stress.
About AboveStress, Inc.
AboveStress, Inc. is a leading web/mobile technology company in the field of stress management. Its mission is to use evidence-based approaches to help individuals reduce stress, thereby living a more productive and fulfilling life.
You can find more stress reduction advice by downloading the iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch Stress Tracker application at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/stress-tracker/id439288154?mt=8 Or download the Android Stress Tracker app here: https://market.android.com/details?id=com.stress or visit http://www.AboveStress.com