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Health Watch: Managing stress during the holidays

It may not surprise you to find out that, according to a recent survey from “OnePoll,” 88 percent of Americans said they get stressed out during Christmas and the end-of-the-year holidays, a problem pervasive enough to affect any one, at any age.

"Even people who don't struggle with mental health or substance use disorder they have an increase sometimes in stress and even loneliness," said Saima Chauhaun, a Clinical Team Manager for mental health in Madison, Wisconsin.

There are so many reasons why people can be stressed this time of year, from having to buy presents to managing finances all while trying to knock things off of an unusually large to-do list. Then there are family concerns – some people get stressed because they’re around family too much, while others get lonely because they’re not around family enough, especially if they have no choice.

"There's individuals who might not have families," said Chauhan.

One key to managing that stress is to budget your time and effort. Try to prioritize to-do lists so you don’t take on too much at once. If you’re worried about a brewing family feud, then set some boundaries, and divide and limit your time ahead of time.

If you’re grieving the loss of a loved one, perhaps start a new tradition in order to honor his or her memory. Also, this is a great time of year to volunteer, which should help alleviate feelings of loneliness.

Lastly, don’t be afraid to seek professional help if you feel you can’t handle the stress.

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