Try to reduce holiday stress

The holidays can be stressful.  Both in terms of the mad rush of parties, interacting with friends and family, as well as the financial stress of buying gifts.

Try to set out a budget before Christmas shopping.  Unless you enjoy the chaos and traffic of malls, try to shop online.  Don’t let overspending at Christmas cause you to eat more, now, and then later when the bills come due.

For most adults, I give books as gifts – simple, but hopefully personalized.  For kids, often gift certificates, if they’re old enough to make decisions.

The Cleveland Clinic suggests:

Focus on traditions, and make new ones

Barlow’s first message is timeless, and it applies to Christmas, Hanukkah and other seasonal holidays: Focus on family time and traditions rather than material things.

“I encourage families to get back to basics,” Dr. Barlow says. “What are the things that you do that are important to you? It could be baking with your children. It could be decorating the tree.”

If you establish the importance of traditions and family — particularly with younger children — they will focus more on the spirit of the season and less on the hot new toy everybody wants.

Dr John Ellis MD

Board-certified anesthesiologist, with expertise in cardiovascular anesthesia and the implications of obesity and sleep apnea in anesthesia. See for professional information. Dr. Ellis has used the strategies in here to: (1) lose 120 lbs over 18 months, (2) stop all antihypertensive medicines, and (3) no longer need CPAP treatment for sleep apnea.

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