"Happy" Holidays... says who?
The "Holiday Stress Index" conducted by Harris Interactive in 2009 reported that 90 percent of respondents say they experience stress during the holiday season. And according to the American Psychological Association, the leading holiday stressors are time, money, commercialism or hype, and the pressures of giving and receiving gifts. Can you relate to any of those things? I know I can.
So how can you keep stress at bay and put the "happy" back into your holidays? There's an old saying that states, "An ounce of doing is better than a pound of intention." Actually, I'm not sure if that is an old saying, but it should be.
Now, I'd love to wave a magic wand and have all of you eat moderately, exercise daily and not overcommit yourself in the areas of time and finance this holiday season. But let's be honest... I'm not a wizard.
The other day while indulging on the latest version of Angry Birds, it hit me. What if the phone was the answer? Chances are that in the three minutes you have been reading this blog you have already checked your email twice, updated your Facebook status, posted a picture of you reading this article to Instagram and backed up all your photos to the Cloud. The phone seems to be able to help in every other area of our lives -- why not in reducing holiday stress?
So I started looking for apps that would help, and I found some great ones.
Apps like MyFitness Pal or CalorieKing Food Search are great to keep us honest about whether or not a third helping of Grandma's twice-baked apple pie is really the best decision for us. Especially when you consider that on average, according the the New England Journal of Medicine, adult Americans rarely, if ever, lose the weight they put on during the holiday season each year!
Another interesting fact is that, according the the Greeting Card Association, Americans purchase 7 billion greeting cards every year. Annual retail sales of greeting cards are estimated at more than $7.5 billion, not to mention the time it takes trying to find just the right ones.
Christmas Video Greeting Cards is a new iPhone app that offers a simple, fun way to create and send personalized, holiday video cards to as many people as you want for just $0.99. Users pick a custom holiday border, add some cool holiday music, and record a 30-second personal video in just a few clicks. Then, a user can send their video card to friends and family via Facebook or email.
I know that saving a few dollars, a few hours or a few calories might not relieve all of your holiday stress, but it does seem to confirm that sometimes "less really is more." And that one I'm pretty sure is a real saying!
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For more on holiday stress, click here.