Tips: Beating the holiday blues

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SALT LAKE CITY -- The holiday blues are setting in for a lot of people these days. At two weeks before Christmas Day, mental health experts say feelings of stress are real.

**Sources of stress for American adults** Money- 71% Work- 69% Economy- 63% Family- 55% - *APA*
The holidays are supposed to be about joy and peace. But whether you're shopping, throwing a party or just juggling activities, this time of year can bring on the blues. Part of the stress this time of year is financial, of course; and this year it's especially bad because of the economy. An unfortunate side-effect of this stress is it spreads, even to kids.

Dr. Jane Blackwell, a therapist in Salt Lake City, says an American Psychological Association study shows 7 in 10 Americans are stressed out about money right now. That's even worse than last year, she says.

Children are nearly two times more likely to worry about financial concerns than their parents realize. In fact, 30 percent say they worry about their family having enough money. -APA

"The economy has had a significant effect on people's security and sense of feeling OK and comfortable," Blackwell says.

The money worries, crowds and pressure can bring on physical symptoms. You can handle those challenges by the choices you make:

  • Set realistic expectations if you feel overwhelmed
  • Volunteer if you feel depressed
  • Take time for yourself. That could mean pausing to meditate; deep breathing even reduces stress

Those are simple steps experts say really work, if you do them.


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Richard Piatt


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