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Handling holiday stress

Sheila was putting the goose in the oven and attempting to simultaneously boil the potatoes and wrap presents on the kitchen counter.  She was behind schedule but couldn’t get the kids to help set the table for the life of her.  She was feeling the stress of being behind schedule and knew the guests would start showing up in just over an hour.  At that moment, her husband Claude came home.  “You aren’t even dressed for the party!”  he exclaimed.  That was it – Sheila ripped off her apron and stormed out the front door.

Obviously the holidays can be a stressful time even when we have immaculate planning.  That stress can take it’s toll on your health and your relationships.  It can seem insurmountable at the exact moment but here’s how to handle it:

  • Take a deep breath and attempt to put things in perspective.
  • When necessary, delegate or ask for help.
  • If you can’t delegate or get help, scale down your plans.
  • Express yourself but nicely.  Do not let your frustration build or explode.
  • Acknowledge that you’re feeling overwhelmed and take a short break.
  • Know when to say “no.”
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