Author holds the key to banishing Christmas stress and the 'holiday blues'

December 08, 2009 (PRLEAP.COM) Lifestyle News
VANCOUVER, British Columbia - December 8, 2009 - More than 80 percent of people suffer the 'holiday blues' during the Christmas season although they won't admit it. The holidays is a time of increased activity, a few weeks when people are juggling work, social obligations, decorating, shopping and wrapping, entertaining, traveling and budgeting. This creates physical and emotional stress that often leads to colds and the flu, the 'holiday blues or depression.'

"The holidays also bring about unrealistic conceptualizations of the ideal family, evoking feelings that may heighten the tension or conflicts between family members" explains McGill University Health Centre psychologist, Dr. Michael Spevack. Loneliness, memories, difficult family situations, SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), the death of a loved one and money challenges may dampen even the happiest of people.

Lisa Rickwood, BFA, CPCC, has experienced the 'holiday blues' and witnessed friends and family feeling the strain of this time of year. She has discovered fun and simple keys to combating the seasonal 'blues' and actually enjoying the holidays and post holidays.

"This time of year will stress you out if you let it. You need a realistic plan to cope," says Lisa Rickwood. Here are a few keys to a sane holiday: set a budget for gift-giving, decorating, attending events and traveling. Say "No," more often; be honest. People will understand. If you have to be with people you don't get along with, create an exit strategy so you can leave gracefully. Keep gift-giving simple - buy green products, gift certificates, treat someone to a spa service, house-cleaning service, do a gift exchange to cut down on buying lots of gifts, etc. Take a mental health day - no errands, no Christmas duties…just engage in a hobby or be lazy and watch movies all day. Or, travel somewhere warm and sunny during the holidays.

"The key is to recharge your energy; we all react unfavorably when we're tired, sick or stressed," Lisa says. You can find out how to control stress and overwhelm by visiting: This completely downloadable home-study program is fun, simple and practical. It's a great life-giving gift for that over-worked and overwhelmed special person in your life - you, or someone else.

Lisa Rickwood, BFA, CPCC, is a certified coach, speaker and author of: Escape the Pace and co-author of: Power & Soul. She has been a regular resource to Woman's World and other print and online publications. Visit: for your FREE Stress-Busting Kit or