Dealing with Holiday Stress - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Dealing with Holiday Stress

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It's the holiday to-do list that never ends, buying family gifts, getting Christmas cards out, baking, entertaining.  It can just downright, stress you out.

Thursday South Bend resident Ashley Sharp said, "we've barely decorated our tree."

Sharp said she's feeling stressed out trying to get everything done.  "I'm a full time college student my husband works two jobs so it's tough."

And she's not alone, stressed out people are everywhere this time of year.

Working at the post office Edna Slack see's that stress as people mail their holiday packages.  "We've had a lot of customers, some nice and some not so nice," said Slack, "cause they would say I haven't got time to stand in line and I need to do it right now.  It gets kind of hectic for some of them but that's just par for the course this time of year."

So why are we so stressed out this time of year?  Mental Health Counselor Tina Weldy says it's all about expectations.  "People expect this to be a wonderful time of year, celebration and in the middle of all that there are other things going on...we set really high expectations and it's gonna be hard to meet those expectations."

Sharp said that's definitely playing into her stress level.  "I want to give my kids a good holiday and I want to give them memories."

Good news, Weldy said there are some ways to combat this stress.  First Lower the bar, "put fewer expectations on yourself, slow down a little bit."

Weldy said be patient with yourself.  Things don't have to be perfect.  You don't have to have the perfect party.  You don't have to find the perfect gift, "having that expectation of finding the perfect thing, that's not realistic."

Also, you don't have to bake the perfect Christmas cookie.  That's advice Sharp already understands.  "A lot of times the pre made dough or the store bought cookies will have to do."

Another piece of advice, Weldy said, if you are going through something you don't have to act like you are happy all the time just because it's the holidays, you can show your real emotions.

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