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Fritz Strobl, M.D.

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10 Ways To Combat Holiday Stress

Posted: 12/23/2011 10:29 pm

What's new or different in combating holiday stress? Holiday stresses are well-known to all. The problems are many. We have high expectations for a holiday time where everyone is together, happy and getting along. But that is often countered by battling crowds while gift shopping, preparing or indulging in rich meals, the weight gain and dealing with the likes of Aunt Ethel -- who complains about everything.

How to you rise above this and keep your stress in check? Here are some tips you can employ:

Get Some Sunshine
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Some of the problem can be attributed to Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), not simply stress. It's the time of year when we may leave for work when it's dark and come home after the sun goes down. Bright, full-spectrum light for 30 minutes in the morning may help. (As pretty as they are, nighttime Christmas lights don't count!) Walking outside is great not only for the sunlight but also for the exercise. Even if it's chilly, bundle up and get outside during the day -- build a snowman, head down the road to visit a friend in the neighborhood or walk to the store rather than drive.
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Happy holidays!