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Add Downtime To Your Holiday List

Eileen Yager, Communications Officer, Extension & Ag Information, University of Missouri,

Shopping, wrapping, decorating, cleaning, baking, sending cards, hosting parties, attending school and church functions, visiting friends and family. The list of holiday-related activities can be long.


When you're making your list and checking it twice, be sure to include time for yourself as the holidays draw near, advised a University of Missouri Specialist.


Sherry Nelson, a Human Environmental Sciences Specialist in Palmyra, said people set themselves up for stress by wanting to do too much.


“All these extra activities associated with the holidays are in addition to our regular schedules,” Nelson said. “We get caught up in wanting to have the perfect Christmas, but that’s just unrealistic. The higher our expectations for perfection, the more let down we’re going to feel.”


Taking care of yourself should be the first item on your list, Nelson said. “If we stress ourselves out, we don’t have anything to give.”


Nelson recommends the following strategies to keep well-being at the top of your list:

  • Eat well, exercise and get plenty of rest to reduce physical stress.
  • Set priorities for activities and spending. Ask yourself what is really important?
  • Be realistic about relationships. “If we don’t get along with our relatives most of the time, why would we get along at Christmas,” Nelson said.
  • Let go of the past and create new ways to celebrate.

Recognize that feeling sad, lonely or melancholy are normal. Turn to family or friends for support.


Source: Sherry Nelson, (573) 769-2177



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Last Updated 05/05/2009