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Tips For Battling Stress During The Holiday Season

December 16, 2013, 6:16 PM by Casey Wonnenberg

Tips For Battling Stress During The Holiday Season

While some believe it's the most wonderful time of the year, others think it's also the most stressful. With shopping, holiday cards and baking, you might have plenty on your to-do list.

Even early in the morning, shoppers are trying to finish their Christmas lists.

"Just picking up a few little things for a couple of the grandsons," shopper Esther Stratton said.

Stratton recommends shopping early in the day when stores are less busy.

"A lot of out-of-towners come in in the afternoon," Stratton said.

That's just one of the ways to cut some holiday stress out of your day.

"Scheduling downtime during the holiday season is also important. Schedule something fun and relaxing for you and your family, anything that gets your batteries recharged," Avera Outpatient Therapist Kelsey Sjaarda said.

It can also help to make a list and prioritize.

"Don't be afraid to say no to some things. If you are not willing to give anything up, can you do something on a smaller scale? Sometimes less is more," Sjaarda said.

Along with buying gifts for your family and yourself, Sjaarda says you can make your holidays more merry by helping others.

“Giving back this season can help us put some of our energy focused on others, rather than ourselves and is a great mood-lifter," Sjaarda said.

Another way to lift your mood is keeping a happiness or gratitude journal.

"A gratitude journal can help put some perspective around all the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, so if something doesn't go quite as planned, we have a list of things we can look at to be grateful for," Sjaarda said.

Grateful is a word Cathy Holsing has in mind as she shops for her five kids this Christmas.

"Just keep your priorities in order and not get too overwhelmed with everything," Holsing said.

Sjaarda says surrounding yourself with positive people can also help reduce stress.

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