Don’t Let Holiday Stress Get You Down

Pop quiz! The family is coming to your place for a holiday dinner. Do you feel A) deliriously happy; B) meditative and calm; or C) stressed?

If you answered “C,” take some comfort in being a member of the majority. There are plenty of nice things about family gatherings, but they can cause real tension, too. For example:

  • “Did I get enough [food/wine/towels]?”
  • “Will _______ ask again if I am getting [married/divorced/a job]?
  • “Will _______ ask why I didn’t use their recipe for [stuffing/greens/apple pie/turkey]?”
  • And everyone’s favorite, “Did they really need to bring [the dog/Uncle So-and-So/vacation photos]?

4 Steps to Limit Holiday Stress

There are no magic bullets for holiday stress, but these simple tips may prepare you for the usual glitches and family dynamics:

  1. Make a plan. Begin preparing now on how to deal with sensitive issues.
  2. Manage your expectations. Don’t try to recreate a Norman Rockwell painting in your dining room.
  3. Learn to say no. Then actually say it.
  4. Use resources/supports and delegate tasks. Don’t prepare your home and cook for a big crowd all by yourself.

Need a bit more help to deal with tension? Join us next Wednesday, November 13, at 7 p.m. at the Long Island Marriott in Uniondale for “Enjoying Stress-Free Holidays.” Snack on healthy refreshments while Joseph Diamond, MD, director of nuclear cardiology at LIJ Medical Center, and I help you understand triggers of holiday stress and effective ways to manage the pressure. Each $20 ticket includes entry into our gift basket raffle.

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