What's dubbed as the "most wonderful time of the year" often can transform from sublime to stressful faster than you can say "Happy Holidays."
Yes, the holiday season is ripe with retail, visions of cookies and cakes lining party tables that seemingly never end and getting together with family and eating enough to last you until next Christmas.
Part of the "Merry Christmas" marquee that often is left off the bill entirely is the amount of stress that consumers consume in the form of travel plans for that aforementioned family, shopping insanity or trying to pull off nothing short of a holiday miracle on or before December 25.
With all that, how are you supposed to stave off stress during the holidays?
Dr. Prakash Masand, MD is founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Global Medical Education (GME), which is a renowned medical resource website that specializes in, among other things, psychiatry.
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Masand is all too familiar with holiday stress at it relates to the untimely and taxing toll it takes on you beginning as early as the day after Thanksgiving, the polarizing day of the year dubbed "Black Friday." The trick to tackling holiday stress isn't so much to ignore it, but rather implement some heavy duty planning along with not being afraid to delegate responsibility.
As for the latter, you have to remember that the holidays don't begin and end with just you. There are plenty of capable family members to go around, and no one, except maybe yourself, expects you to whip up a dinner for 10, bake cookies and wrap an unbelievable amount of presents in a few weeks.
That's not even counting the idea of shopping for a plethora of would be recipients on your gift list.
Masand is quick to point out that the holidays center on spreading cheer to the ones you love, but, as he urges, not at the expense of your own wellbeing. Masand makes it a point to tell anyone who will listen that you shouldn't skip meals, lose sleep on the trivial and continue to exercise on a regular basis. This also should include implementing an eating regimen that resembles a healthy one, although that's not to suggest that sneaking a few cookies or a swig of Eggnog is totally out of the question. This just means you shouldn't completely abandon the fruits and vegetables that keep you healthy and happy year round.
Running neck and neck with your hectic holiday schedule is money, specifically opining over how you're going to manage to buy for everyone on your ever growing shopping list.
Money, undoubtedly, becomes an issue at one time or another over the holidays, since giving gifts and buying is a focal point. Masand emphatically recommends a reasonable budget to help ward off feelings of anxiousness or nervousness in addition to not waiting until the very last minute to either take on a large task, like planning a party, or buying gifts.
Masand also isn't ashamed to admit that, no matter how hard you try, something is bound to go wrong during the holidays. It's how you react and respond that determines your fate as far as stress is concerned. You have to assume that you might forget to buy a gift or weather might wreak havoc on your travel plans. These things are bound to happen, so simply take a few minutes to mentally regroup and push forward as best as you can.
Even if sometimes your "best" isn't good enough, it certainly suffices when it comes to choosing between perfection and putting yourself first, even if it is the holidays.
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