Niagara Gazette

Opinion

December 18, 2013

BRADBERRY: Don't let stress ruin Christmas: Ten tips

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette — Writer Rachel Baldwin, commenting about the phenomenon notes, “According to the National Coalition to End Domestic Violence website, December traditionally is the worst time for domestic violence in most states, and last year a third of domestic incidents reported to the police that month occurred between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. National statistics say that researchers have found that, while domestic abuse increases by about 22 percent on Thanksgiving, it is really New Year’s that is the biggest holiday of concern. Domestic violence rates increase by an incredible 32 percent during this holiday. Christmas ranks third with a 17 percent increase.”

The world famous Mayo Clinic offers these 10 tips for coping with stress and depression during the Christmas holiday season. Check out the full discussion at their website, mayoclinic.com:

The clinic staff suggests that we should “Try to prevent stress and depression in the first place, especially if the holidays have taken an emotional toll on you in the past.”

1. Acknowledge your feelings. If someone close to you has recently died or you can’t be with loved ones, realize that it’s normal to feel sadness and grief.

2. Reach out, volunteer. If you feel lonely or isolated, seek out community, religious or other social events. They can offer support and companionship. Volunteering your time to help others also is a good way to lift your spirits and broaden your friendships.

3. Be realistic. The holidays don’t have to be perfect or just like last year. As families change and grow, traditions and rituals often change as well.

4. Set aside differences. Try to accept family members and friends as they are, even if they don’t live up to all of your expectations. Set aside grievances until a more appropriate time for discussion.

5. Stick to a budget. Before you go gift and food shopping, decide how much money you can afford to spend. Then stick to your budget.

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