Thursday, December 12, 2013

Surviving Holiday Stress

Tips from BP Magazine:

Even positive life events, like a new job or the holiday season, can bring unsettling stress. Here are some survival tips for the next few weeks from Prakash Masand, MD, president of Global Medical Education and a former consulting professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Duke University Medical Center:

Spread out the workload. Make a list of everything you’re trying to get done between now and New Year’s, then divide items into a day-by-day schedule so you don’t get overwhelmed by last-minute tasks. Figure out what you can simplify, what you can offload, and who you can recruit to help out.

Expect things to go wrong. The turkey may get overcooked, your kid may hate the gifts you picked, a family member (or you) might get sick. Something is bound to be less than picture-perfect. Accept the reality and try to focus on positives.

Sidestep family drama. Holidays are not the time to resolve family conflicts. Create a game plan to get through the few days you’re together—from practicing deep breathing to setting an early departure time in advance—and plan to address issues at another time.

Keep up your self-care. When things get rush-rush, it’s tempting to skip meals and skimp on sleep. Make an effort to eat a good diet, drink lots of water, stick to your exercise and medication routines, and attend scheduled appointments with your psychiatrist or other mental health professional.
Click here for more “Helpful Holiday Hints”—including why it feels like your moods fluctuate more this time of year—from the "Ask the Doctor" column (Fall 2012).

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