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Crowded shopping centers, visits from long-lost relatives, and the pressure of preparing holiday meals can all summon one universal reaction: stress. The holidays may be the season of love and celebration, but sometimes festivities can become overwhelming.
Dr. Mallay Occhiogrosso, a psychiatrist at the Payne Whitney Clinic at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, says, "Overly high expectations for the holidays—be it around the food, the gifts, or the family relationships—can trigger anxiety and even depression. Prioritizing self-care is important, as well as dialing down those unrealistic 'Hallmark holiday' fantasies."
"During the holidays, our lives become even more stressful as we try to juggle our usual responsibilities with extra holiday preparation and complicated family dynamics," says Dr. Maria A. Oquendo, a psychiatrist at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center.
Drs. Occhiogrosso and Oquendo suggest that you try to keep your holiday stress to a minimum this year with the following advice:
These tips can help you to reduce stress and make the holidays a pleasure. Doing less may help you to enjoy the season more, and that is really the best stress reliever of all.
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