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Holiday stress, beat holiday stress, advice for holiday shopping

6 Sites for Conquering Holiday Stress

December 22, 2009
by Rachel Balik
It’s easy to turn your holiday fear into holiday cheer when you anticipate stressful moments well ahead of time and nip them in the bud. In fact, the same things tend to cause anxiety for everyone, so don’t feel alone: benefit from the copious advice that’s available to aid you in your quest for holiday peace and serenity. Below, we offer six sites to get you started.

Holiday Stress Is Real

The title of this Mayo Clinic article pretty much says it all: “Stress, depression and the holidays.” Three main anxiety triggers tend to crop up in a magnified way over the holidays, the article says: difficult relationships, financial burdens and physical tolls. However, there are ways to prepare yourself for all of these situations, and you might find that if you know what to expect, you’ll be a bit less flustered and frazzled when the time comes. The Mayo Clinic offers 12 tips to help you to combat these sources of tension, including things like being realistic about what you expect from family members, sticking to a preset holiday budget and taking 15 minutes for yourself every day.

Holiday Shopping Made Simple

Giving gifts should be a joy, not a burden, but let’s be honest: it often doesn’t feel that way. Still, there are ways to bring back the fun and avoid running yourself down. As always, a little bit of advanced preparation is a good solution. On the, simply enter the item you’re looking for and the site will tell you exactly where to find it in your area or online.
Some people are hard to buy presents for. Maybe you don’t know someone well enough to pick out a gift that feels like a good fit. Maybe they already have everything, or are impossible to please. For those people, a thoughtfully selected book may be the answer. Peruse The New York Times list of “100 Notable Books of 2008” for inspiration.

Scale back on your shopping (and maybe save a buck or two) by crafting your own presents. The Huffington Post suggests “7 Easy Holiday Gifts You Can Make.” Try making soap, t-shirts, cookies or even paper flowers. At least you’ll know your sister won’t already have your present.

Get Healthy and Relaxed

There might be one person on your gift list who always gets forgotten: you. To relax and stay fit this year, try treating yourself to a gym membership, or better yet, a yoga class. If getting out of the house and getting yourself into lotus pose seems too great a challenge at this busy time of year, you can do yoga from your house. At the Yoga Learning Center, you can get a free one-week trial of an online yoga membership.

Make it the week before Christmas or the week in between Christmas and New Year’s and you’re golden. If you like it, you can continue practicing yoga by signing up for a paid membership.

If you’re less flexible but would still like to take a breather, you can start with some basic relaxation techniques in the Meditation Room at Learning Meditation. Choose from more than a dozen themed meditations available as text or as audio (you’ll need the RealPlayer plug-in). Follow the guidelines for how to meditate, or explore the rest of the site for more tips and tutorials.

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