Many people love the holidays. But if you secretly feel a sense of dread surrounding Christmas, you're not alone. Holiday stress is a serious emotional and physical problem.
Holiday decorating, shopping and partying can all lead to less sleep, less exercise, and eating too much unhealthy food. Add to that the emotional overload of family visits and you have the perfect recipe for holiday stress.
Family therapist Cheryl Simmons tells her patients that de-stressing begins by changing your thoughts.
"So much of the Christmas stress is truly about all these expectations and demands we put on ourselves," she explained.
Simmons recommends making two lists: The Must-Do's and the Would-Like-to-Do's.
"If it isn't done by a certain point in time, let it go and be able to take on a sense of peace," she said.
Candy Beneke was forced to pare down last Christmas after a water leak meant repairs being done in her home.
"Here's some of my decorations that won't get put out," she said as she showed CBN News the Christmas decorations.
It turned out to be a blessing.
"Remember what Christmas is about. Sharing your faith. Sharing your love," Beneke said. "You have to focus that it's not really all about all the other things we do for it."
Here are five tips to relieve holiday stress:
- Do Less
- Slow down
- Get Enough Sleep