Local News

Happy Holidays: Don't Let Stress Of Season Get You Down

Posted December 12, 2003

— Is it harder to keep a smile on your face in the midst of holiday mall madness?

The stress can take really take a toll on your health, but there are simple things you can do to worry less and enjoy the season more.

"It's crazy. I mean, definitely a lot of anxious shoppers trying to get all their Christmas shopping done," said Melissa Sebastian Elli, a store manager at The Streets of Southpoint Mall.

Elli finds refuge from her job with an occasional massage available at the mall.

"It was wonderful. It was absolutely amazing," she said. "I think this is a great service they have out here for everyone who works at the mall, as well as the shoppers."

Most shoppers are not stopping for a back rub -- they said they would rather rub out a long shopping list.

"It's too much to think about when you try to do it all at one time," shopper Bill Keady said.

When stress takes over, your heart rate can climb, causing problems like headaches, fatigue and stomach problems. Here are some tips to manage stress:

  • Physical problems can be avoided through exercise and good nutrition.
  • Manage your time wisely and delegate responsibilities.
  • Cut back on unnecessary activities and make time to relax alone or with the people you love.
  • Some said shopping is less stressful when you make it fun.

    "Shopping with good friends, good sisters. That's it. Having a good time," Debbie Hyatt said.

    "Christmas is fun. We get to be kids all over again. It's so great watching her enjoy a Christmas tree for the first time and watching her joy over opening the presents. It's just great," shopper Susan Brown said of her young daughter.

    And do not forget to laugh.

    "Oh yeah, you've got to laugh. If you can't laugh you're missing the whole point," Hyatt said.

    One survey found that 41 percent of people find the holidays more stressful than asking their boss for a raise.

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