Dont Let Christmas Be Dark

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(MURFREESBORO) This can be the most wonderful time of the year for some, while being dark days for others. Friends at Ascension St. Thomas Rutherford Hospital have some suggestions that might help.

Between cooking multi-course meals, booking travel arrangements, wrapping presents, decorating the house, and attending (or even hosting!) obligatory social events, it's no wonder that many of us are already feeling more weary than merry this December.

To help you avoid holiday burnout and maximize your well-being, experts at Ascension Saint Thomas offer the following stress management strategies:

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1.Take Care of Yourself. The holiday season is full of hustle and bustle that can distract us from taking care of ourselves. Make your health a priority during the holidays. Make healthy food choices, limit any alcohol use and don't forget to exercise. Even a 15-minute morning workout or brisk walk is better than not doing any exercise.

2. Plan Ahead. Think first before committing to any responsibility or social event. Don't make any snap decisions and give yourself time to reflect on any proposed commitment or responsibility. You can always tell others you need to double-check your calendar before committing.

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3. Take a Break. It's easy to over schedule ourselves during the "most wonderful time of the year." That's why it's important to also schedule quality downtime to maintain balance in your life. Decompress by picking up a good book, visiting the gym, scheduling a massage or just taking a nap.

4. Keep Things in Perspective. Many people experience burnout because they place unrealistic expectations on themselves and others. Try to keep things in perspective during the holidays and ground yourself by making time to practice your religious or familial traditions. Keep a journal and write down three things you're grateful for each day.

Serving Tennessee for 16 years, Ascension is a faith-based healthcare organization committed to delivering compassionate, personalized care to all, with special attention to persons living in poverty and those most vulnerable.

Ascension is the largest non-profit health system in the U.S. and the world's largest Catholic health system, operating more than 2,600 sites of care - including 151 hospitals and more than 50 senior living facilities - in 21 states and the District of Columbia. Visit www.sthealth.com.

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