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How to Fend Off Holiday Stress, from People Who Should Know


Neda Gould, clinical psychologist and director of the Johns Hopkins Mindfulness Program in Baltimore, advises that when you’re busy with small talk during a noisy party or family argument, pause to let Do a quick scan of your body from head to toe for nascent stress.

Gould advises, as soon as you notice signs of stress, whether it’s a fast heartbeat or a tense shoulder, take a few minutes to practice mindful breathing, which you can do anywhere. – even while standing in line at Target. “Even for 10 seconds, we can pause, pay attention to our senses, and take a few deep breaths, and that signals to our brains and bodies, ‘Okay, there’s nothing right now. hazardous.'”

Pearlberg, a UPS driver, makes sure his exercise routine doesn’t falter during the holidays, even though working for the shipping company is an “extremely stressful job” at this point in time. years, he said. Stretching after work is also important, he added. I extended the lecture to other drivers. If you’re going to go home and open a beer, sit down on the ground, put the beer next to you, and stretch for five minutes.”

Dean Reid, general manager of the Richard & Son PC and TV store in Harlem, created a personal incentive program to help get himself through the mayhem of long lines and panicked buyers. chaos at his store. “I would buy something sweet for lunch to put a smile on my face and make me feel a little better, like carrot cake or something like that,” he said. “And I schedule my January vacation in advance, so I can think about it when I get busy. That helps me stay calm and keep rolling.”

Shirel Ben Harroush, owner of Kosher Gratzia Bakery in Chicago, says she has received about 5,000 orders for sufganiyot, the traditional Hanukkah jelly donut. She says she aims to get things done first – the right advice for everyone. She said: “I pre-ordered, so I had jelly and custard and we were ready. And don’t hesitate to ask for help if you need it, she added. “I am hiring someone who only makes sufganiyot, to make sure our customers get their orders.”

I took her advice already. This Christmas, I will be welcoming my extended family for the first time and instead of cooking everything myself, I have asked everyone to bring food. Although I wish I had my own sufganiyot guy.

If you feel your anxiety levels soar north in certain situations – such as the furnace running and guests arriving in 30 minutes – Dr. Gould recommends a quick gut check . She said, name three things that were most important to you in that moment, and let the rest pass. If your priority is having time to connect with family and friends, she says, “then you get some perspective and realize that if your cake isn’t perfect, that’s okay.”

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