Coping with Holiday Stress - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

12/22/04

Coping with Holiday Stress

Buying gifts, wrapping presents, baking cookies...there's so many things to do before Christmas. And with the big event only three days away, time is running out. It can all be very overwhelming.

The mall pretty much ground zero for people stressed out by the holidays. So what exactly is it that makes Christmas so stressful every year?

"Standing in line," was shopper Nancy Davis of Rincon's answer.

Antoniece Bailey from Savannah noted, "It's hard trying to find the right gifts for everybody."

"Deadlines, not enough time," added Giovanni Rose of Tampa. "You have to get off from work, come right to the mall, by the time you get done it's time for bed then get back up and start all over and hope you get everything you need in that little time frame."

With less than three shopping days until Christmas, even one last-minute gift or one little detail can be very overwhelming. We spoke with a local psychologist today who passed on some helpful information for dealing with holiday stress.

Dr. Daniel Bochner is a psychologist at Coastal Psychology in Savannah. "I'd say try to get in the Christmas spirit," he advised. "I know that sounds like something everybody would say, but also just relax and go with the flow."

He suggests taking a deep breath when you start to feel stressed, leave the kids at home if you have last-minute shopping, and set a budget. Overspending can really stress you out.

"There's no such thing as the perfect holiday," said Dr. Bochner. "It's a family time and time to enjoy your loved ones and trying to do too much just adds too much stress. It's not really what anyone wants anyway. If the food isn't exactly perfect, people are still going to enjoy being together and being in a loving household."

Reported by: Michelle Paynter, mpaynter@wtoc.com

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