Tips to stay calm during holidays

The holidays can be fun, but they can also be a source of great stress. HSHS St. Nicholas Hospital and its partner, Prevea Health offer the following ways to stay calm during this busy time of year.

1. Don’t stress about family problems.

• If you have bad feelings about someone, try and avoid him or her. Don’t make an issue of it, but at the same time, don’t pretend all is well and you will stay true to yourself.

2. Don’t let money ruin the holiday spirit.

• Pick a budget and stick to it so you aren’t paying off bills in 2017.

• Show you care by making personal gifts that don’t cost a lot. Examples:

• Put child handprints on a household item, such as a picture frame.

• Package ingredients for a recipe in a jar.

• Knit a scarf or make jewelry.

3. Make a list and stick to it.

4. Start getting presents now or when it’s most convenient for you. Sales can be just as good now; don’t stress about rushing to the stores on largely advertised sales days.

5. As soon as you buy a gift, take it home and wrap it so you don’t add extra items to the gift.

6. It is okay to tell children:

• A certain toy is too expensive.

• Even Santa Clause has limited funds and has to choose certain gifts from his very long list.

• Mom, dad and Santa Clause will decide what presents are suitable for children.

7. You don’t have to go to every holiday gathering. It’s okay to decline invitations.

8. If you’ve had a recent tragedy, death or romantic break-up:

• Avoid festivities that are out of sync with how you’re feeling. Tell those around you what you really need. They may not know how to help you, so ask for their understanding if you decline an activity.

9. Take a break from holiday music and television specials if you find they’re turning you into “Scrooge.”

10. Don’t expect more from this time of year than any other time of year

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