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How to dodge holiday stress

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Posted at 6:48 AM, Dec 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-20 06:48:40-05

CLEVELAND — Holiday stress is normal and it’s brought on for various reasons. Though, it usually has everything to do with expectations.

“We always hope the holidays are going to be fantastic and we're looking for that hallmark moment,” said YMCA of Greater Cleveland Creative Director, Phil Buck.

But the truth is, our hope for a perfect holiday with friends and family doesn't always work out. The good news is that's okay. Buck says it’s important to give ourselves grace. He says destressing starts with saying "no."

“If I’m being asked to do a lot of things that are extra during the holidays, which is normal, I need to sometimes say no,” he said.

Buck says it’s also a good idea to plan ahead to ease the holiday load or delegate tasks.

“If I really want a lot of things to happen and I take all of the responsibility on myself, I’m going to be more stressed.”

Other advice includes taking time to yourself, trying not to neglect your body and health by sticking to your normal routines, and if you leave work behind if you can.

A recent report out of South Australia found checking work emails during your holiday time off could lead to burnout and mental distress. It can even affect your physical health and relationships.

Buck is also reminding us to go into this holiday season with the understanding that things will be different as we continue to navigate this pandemic and a new COVID variant. So again, keep your expectations realistic.