How to cope with holiday stress

- Amid the sights and sounds of the holiday, it's easy to feel the thick layer of stress weighing down on you like Santa's heavy red suit.

It's easy to run out of time, money and patience during the holidays. One way to reduce stress is to stop worrying about things out of your control and enjoy the here and now. That’s called mindfulness. 

"Mindfulness is the idea of being in the now, not worrying about past or thinking about future being in the here and now," says Gail Patricolo, Beaumont Director Integrative Medicine. She knows we have a lot on our minds, but says we need to prioritize and simplify. 

"Think at a deep level what is important to you. Is it important that you have 10 gifts for one person, and 10 for another person? Or, would both do well with three or four gifts?" she says. "We don't have to do everything that we're doing. We're a society of over-dos."

Another way to possibly ease stress is to take a page out of Santa's book: making a list and check it twice. Gail says, though, some of her patients love making lists, which others say it doesn't work for them. 

One of quickest ways to relax your body is by doing the 4-7-8 breathing method. Take a deep breath from your belly and count to four silently, hold that breath for 7 seconds and breath out as you silently count to 8. It's supposed to calm your nervous system. 
 

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