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If you’re like most people, the holiday season can be one of many pleasures and fun, but it can also be a time of great stress. Family get-togethers. Shopping. Spending more money than we planned. Clean-up. Parties. Kids on vacation. Eating and drinking too much. Not enough rest. All of this on top of your already busy schedule.

No matter how you fared during the holidays, you’re probably feeling a bit overwhelmed right about now. Many people suffer from the “post-holiday blues”.

One of the best things you can do to reduce stress is to change your way of thinking. If you THINK stressful thoughts, your stress level will naturally increase. The key is to think differently, and you will therefore BEHAVE differently. And since much of our stress comes from the way we react to life’s events, we can reduce stress immediately by changing our perspective! When your “self-talk” is positive, you give yourself permission to be human – to do the best you can under the circumstances. If your “self-talk” is negative, you often give up on yourself before you even try. Negative self-talk can increase or cause distress – and can make the effects of stress, such as headache, stomach problems, or muscular aches, much worse. So, if you learn to listen to your own self-talk, you can see when you are sabotaging yourself, giving up, or making a poor choice because of the way you perceive the situation. Then, you can practice using more positive self-messages.

Apart from practicing positive self-talk, here are some tips on how to handle the post-holiday blues, and stress in general.
GET UP 5 minutes earlier. Don’t start the day feeling frazzled or rushed.
DO NOTHING which, after being done, leads you to tell a lie.
SCHEDULE a realistic day. Allow yourself ample time between appointments.
EXERCISE. An instant cure for most stress is 30 minutes of brisk walking, or other aerobic exercise.
ACT NOW. Procrastination is stressful. Whatever you want to do tomorrow, do it TODAY. Whatever you want to do today, do it NOW.
TALK IT OUT. Discussing your problems with a trusted friend can help clear your mind so you can concentrate on problem-solving.
MAKE TIME for solitude every day.
GET ENOUGH SLEEP. If necessary, set your alarm clock to remind when to GO to bed!
TURN NEEDS INTO PREFERENCES. Our basic needs are food, water, and shelter. Everything else is a preference.
STOP WORRYING. If something concerns you, do something about it. If you can’t do anything about it, let it go.
LEARN TO LIVE one day at a time. Take each task as it comes.
TRY WRITING your thoughts and feelings in a journal. This can help clarify and put things in perspective.
STOP AND THINK. The next time someone cuts you off in traffic, think how many times YOU have done the same thing, intentionally or unintentionally, to someone else. Then forget it and move on.


Think about the most important people in your life. How much time do you spend together? Find ways to carve out more time for the people ou love.
Remember to have your routine check-up this year. Look at your exercise and eating habits. Consider joining the local gym or the HEALTHY DOWNSTATE Program.
Figure out what your financial goals are for the year, and set financial priorities. Your goals might be to reduce credit-card debts, organize your financial papers, or make this the year you really focus on saving for the future.
Make time for reflection. Think about your long-and short-term goals. Where do you want to be five years from now? One year form now? Create a list of all the things you want to do and LEAVE NOTHING OUT. Then begin to fill your heart’s desires.



“They themselves are makers of themselves.” In other words, you are what you MAKE of yourself. And you can make a better you by practicing some simple stress-busting techniques.