Dealing with the pressure of the holidays

Tuesday, December 18th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

If you haven't finished all of your shopping and you're starting to feel a little holiday pressure, it's still not too late to keep your sanity. News on Six reporter Kia Malone explains how to have a stress-free Christmas.

The shopping, the parties, the cooking may leave you saying 'Bah-Humbug' this year. But people we talked to say you can do what you want and still spread a little holiday cheer. Shopper, "Am I stressed? Oh Lord, no!" Kia Malone, "so you're not worried about I’ve gotta get this present, I’ve gotta get that present." Shopper, "They don't get it, they don't get it!" Kia Malone, "Are you a little stressed out about it?" Shopper, "No, No! Well, I haven't had time to think about it yet."

And that may be to key to remaining stress-free this holiday season, putting all of the hussle and bussle in the back of your mind. "Because there's nothing to worry about." Psychologist Jay Kent-Ferraro says there are four easy ways you can design a great holiday. The first step is having realistic expectations. Set priorities and establish parameters. You don't have to do everything. Next, under-commit and over-deliver. You stay in control with your time and which activities you want to do. Have a toleration-free zone. Don't do anything you don't choose to do. Finally, keep it real. Avoid using this time to make an old wrong right.

And remember to celebrate. "Christmas is supposed to be fun and happy and enjoying." But if shopping still has you bummed. "Waiting on my wife!" Rex McCracken says let someone else do it. "When you get as old as I am, you've gone through a lot anyways. There's always something new." Or if you can handle it, Betsy says put it off until the last minute. "Sometimes I get it all done in the final 36 hours." Kia Malone, "But you're not stressed?" Betsy, "No I'm not stressed."

Doctors also say get plenty of exercise and rest to help your body be stress-free. Doctors also say don't drink too much alcohol and don't eat too much. You may regret it in January.