Monday, December 28, 2009

Kathianne's AJC Quote on Holiday Stress

Note: Unfortunately, the article printed on December 24th.  I was out of town for the holidays, so I had someone buy the paper on the 22nd (the day the article was supposed to be printed).  Since I couldn't track down an actual newspaper, I bought the archive copy, and cut and pasted my quotes here.  I know it doesn't look incredibly professional this way, but I'm just not going to stress about it.

Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The (GA)
December 24, 2009
Section: Living
Edition: Main; The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Page: D1

Avoid holiday stress overload
Keeping perspective is key, experts say.
Take time for yourself during the season's crush of commitments.

Nedra Rhone, Staff

The holidays are generally a happy time of year, but they can also be a time of great stress. Social engagements, family visits, travel and high expectations can all bring on feelings of increased pressure. Some stress is, of course, good for you.

"It is important for us to have stress in our lives ... but when it is extended stress, it starts to wear on the body," said Kathianne Sellers Williams, wellness coach at Cafe Physique. "The average person does not manage stress at all, so the holidays can really emphasize how out of balance people are."

Add to that the climate of economic uncertainty and the scene is set for a meltdown. We asked some of Atlanta's top health and wellness experts to give a few tips for managing stress this season.

Williams, wellness coach, Cafe Physique

"What I've been seeing with my clients is they have increased stress because there is more to do. There are more demands on their time. A lot of people have a hard time saying no," Williams said. It is important for people to think about fitting nourishing activities or stress relievers into their daily life, she said. "In general, there are things you can do to manage your baseline stress. You can plan to do a yoga class or do some creative activities such as writing in a journal. It could be a ritual of sitting down and having a cup of tea while reading the paper," Williams said.

You also want to have a plan for breakthrough stress, Williams said, those unplanned moments that occur at work or while waiting in line at the post office. Practicing deep breathing or removing yourself from the situation to go get a cup of tea can make things better, she said.

Another important aspect of managing stress is getting adequate sleep. "Not getting enough sleep just compounds how anxious or stressed or depressed people feel," Williams said. Also make time to evaluate your values in life. "Look at a typical day and write down what you do all day and just look at it. Some people are shocked. They can't believe how much time they spend watching TV. The awareness phase is crucial. Then from there ask yourself the tough questions," she said.

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