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The holidays are supposed to be a time of joy, happiness and excitement however, the holidays can also bring added stress, disappointment and loneliness. For many, this year will be more difficult given the financial and emotional stressors of the economy. When you experience this stress, remember to take care of yourself, keep things simple and reach out to friends and family.

Connect with others…spend time with supportive friends and family. Call or visit a friend.

Keep things simple…don’t try to make this the “best holiday ever”.

Be realistic about what you can and cannot do. Pace yourself, organize your time. Pare down your to-do list, prioritize.

Don’t overspend. Many people are cutting back this year on gifts and celebrations. One of the best gifts you can give is your time and your smile…call or send a note to those you care about.

Take time for yourself – nurture your spirit. Try to keep to your normal routine. Avoid excessive use of alcohol and caffeine. Eat healthy and nutritious meals.

Get enough sleep…it’s critical for our physical, spiritual and emotional health.

Regular exercise is the most important anti-stressor. Be active – move, stretch , take a walk, get out in the fresh air. Just 15 minutes can make a big difference.

Breathe! When you are feeling stressed or overwhelmed, try taking 3 deep breaths…it only takes a minute and your situation will immediately seem less intense or worrisome.

Find a serene place of your own – even if it’s just a comfortable chair in a corner. Try meditation or yoga to help you relax.

Keep your sense of humor…laugh…sometimes it’s the best medicine during trying times.

If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed this holiday season, remember that Jefferson Center is here to help. We provide a continuum of programs and services for our community.