MONDAY, Dec. 20 (HealthDay News) -- 'Tis the season to be jolly,
not stressed out, and an expert offers some tips on how to take
care of yourself during the holiday rush.
While it's easy to feel overwhelmed by all the shopping,
planning and other tasks associated with the season, you need to
take steps to keep your stress under control in order to protect
your health, said Dr. Gary Kaplan, founder of the Kaplan Center for
Integrative Medicine in McLean, Va.
"Stress is the way our body automatically responds to difficult situations. You may feel nervous, irritable and depressed, experience increased aches and pains, or you may just not feel like yourself," he said in a center news release.
Kaplan offered the following tips to relieve holiday stress:
- Share the workload. Learn how to say "no" to requests for your
time and delegate tasks to others when possible.
- Keep it simple. Skip the shopping, make homemade gifts and
spend quality time with family and friends.
- Maintain your regular schedule as much as possible. Humans are
creatures of habit and feel out of sorts when routines are
- Find ways to burn off physical and emotional tension. Vent to a
friend, write about your feelings in a journal, go for a walk or
take a bubble bath.
- Look after your body. Eat a healthy diet, get plenty of
exercise and do things that restore your energy, such as meditating
or getting a massage.
The American Psychological Association offers more
ways to deal with holiday stress.