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Tips on Dealing with Stress during the Holidays(Lisa McGovern, L.C.S.W., Supervisor of Counseling Services, Catholic Charities of Tennessee)

Posted 11/15/2017

The Holidays can be a stressful time. We often are trying to spend time around family and "create magical memories." Often we can have unrealistic expectations that set us up for stress and disappointment. We can overextend ourselves or our finances.

Here are some tips meant to help keep the joy in the holidays and manage the stress that can come as well.

Have an "action plan":

1. Pinpoint the stressor-is it too many commitments? Unrealistic expectations?

2. Think of 1 thing you can do to cut back on that stress-can you do 1 less party or expect people to act as they always have rather than how you wish they would?

3. Prioritize-what is really important? How do you make sure that important thing happens? This could be making sure you sleep or focusing on what would really make a positive impact on the people in your life (hint-it's not a "present" but rather presence)

4. Try to incorporate these 8 habits daily:
a. Exercise -even for 5 minutes can make a difference
b. Deep breathing -this calms the body and the mind and helps you with focus and perspective
c. Sleep -no one is their best when sleep deprived
d. Talk to friends/family -use your support system to know you aren't facing this alone and get new ideas for balance
e. Be mindful of the world around -there are other things going on that can help with perspective and much beauty out there you can appreciate
f. Music-find that music that calms you or lifts your spirits
g. Be easy on yourself-most people offer more grace to others than themselves
h. Be thankful-gratitude is a powerful weapon against stress

For more information, or a personalized plan, please feel free to call Catholic Charities Individual, Couples, and Family Counseling staff at 615-352-3087.

Have a peaceful and happy holiday season!





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