Just thinking about the holidays may be stressing you out. While it’s a beautiful time of year, the holiday season is filled with extra activities that people need to fit into their already demanding schedules, said Dr. Jeffrey Brantley, M.D., director of the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Program at Duke Integrative Medicine and author of True Belonging: Mindful Practices to Help You Overcome Loneliness, Connect with Others, and Cultivate Happiness with Wendy Millstine. And all that doing can diminish downtime, leaving us with little time to relax and regroup.
High expectations are another source of stress, Dr. Brantley said. We yearn to be happy during the holidays and tend to create idealistic expectations. We think that the typical dynamics, disputes and clashes with our families will just disappear.
We also might underestimate the time needed for tasks like shopping, cleaning and cooking. Other stressors include money problems and the usual holiday hoopla like traffic, long lines and lack of parking, he said.
So how can you cope with stress amid the holiday hustle? Mindfulness can help.
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