It's Time Texas: Reducing Holiday Stress

Exercise is important to reducing stress. During the holidays, many of us find excuses to put off workouts, like "the family is in town," or "I have to shop."

Thanksgiving is less than one week away, and for some, the holiday stress is beginning to build.

Dr. Michael McKee, a psychologist, said that with all the chores of shopping, planning parties and family visits between now and New Years, we can easily become overwhelmed. He said not to put too much pressure on yourself.

"If you can make peace without having to have an 'A'; not having to have an 'A' in the meal you serve, not having to have an 'A' in house decoration, not having to have an 'A' in the gifts you give, not having to get an 'A' in the stories you tell, not having to get an 'A' in how helpful you are to everybody else," McKee said.

Money and time are the two big stressors, according to McKee, who said there is never enough of both. One solution to the problem is creating a gift to save on each.

When it comes to family gatherings, the doctor has a unique approach to dealing with that relative who bugs you.

"Kind of make a game out of it. Decide to be different. Decide to react differently to somebody who bugs you, and then kind of stand back and watch," McKee said. "Watch what happens, because it really is like a play. I mean, if you suddenly switch your lines, everybody else in the play says, 'What do I say now?'"

After a good laugh, McKee said that by engaging in unexpected behavior, you can find some sense of control and prevent stress from getting the better of you.


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