Handling holiday stress and anxiety

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) - James Urban has a lot on his plate. 

“We lost my dad last year on December 2nd and my mom is still traumatized by his death.”

His 10-year-old daughter, Kayla, is also disabled. She's being treated for seizures at Oshei Children's Hospital. And, on top of that, the dad from Cheektowaga works full-time. So, life in general is stressful.

He said the holidays don't help. “It's always in the back of your head. You've got all this Christmas shopping to do and Christmas is coming.”
 
Urban's not alone when it comes to feeling that holiday pressure. According to the American Psychological Association, nearly a quarter of Americans report feeling extreme stress around the holidays.

Shannon McGrath is a social worker with Jewish Family Service. “A lot of times we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to buy all the right gifts or attend every single holiday party and have a prefect, clean house. Those aren't reasonable expectations for anybody, especially around the holidays.”

McGrath does have some tips for managing your stress:
-be aware of your mood and feelings
-eat and sleep well
-stay active
-set realistic goals

“Making sure we're consistent in our schedule vs. running around to buy that last present or cook that special treat when maybe it's ok that we don't,” she added.
 

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