MetroHealth doctor advises taking time to de-stress for the holidays

Don't let stress spoil your holiday

CLEVELAND - It seemed this year, we barely had a chance to finish that last piece of Thanksgiving pumpkin pie when holiday shopping had already begun. Searching the Internet, watching for ads and pacing through malls all to make this holiday season the best one yet.

"There's pressure of making the perfect Christmas," said MetroHealth'' Family Medicine Dr. Christine Alexander. "Having the perfect meal, buying just the right gift."

It's that pressure that can make preparing for the holidays stressful.

"There's a lot going on," said Theresa Steward. "I have four children so there's a lot of activities that go along with the season."

Nicholas Jones was out shopping with his family.  He told NewsChannel5 that sometimes the pace of preparing for the holidays can get the best of some people.

"The occasion is supposed to be a joyful occasion," explained Jones. "But you're actually stressed out because of all the things you have to get done within a short time frame."

Connie Lesniak said it seems that somehow everything seems to get done but, "with all the baking and the candy making and the buying, yes, there's never enough time."

Alexander believes some relief from holiday stress can start with one simple question.

"What really does this holiday mean to me and what does it mean to my loved ones, and how can I now do a couple of things that really are meaningful for us, instead of buying in to all of the marketing around it?"

The answer might be taking a step back and remembering the reason for the season.

"For me, it's about God and Christ and things of that nature," said Jones. "I really try not to focus on the shopping all those things."

South Park Mall shopper Amy Pirokowski said avoiding holiday stress is easier if we "remember that the whole purpose of the season is to be with people and relationships you have with those people. So if you keep that in mind, all the other stuff doesn't matter any longer."

What do you do to keep holiday stress to a minimum? Tell us by leaving a comment below.

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