Fighting Off That Scrooge Feeling

Do you sometimes find yourself dreading the holiday season?  Too many things to accomplish, too many people at the mall, too many cars on the road, too much family and not enough money to pay for it all. 

Instead of giving into the Scrooge feeling, fight back the urge to yell “Bah! Humbug!”  Dr. Ira Halper, director of the Cognitive Therapy Center in the Department of Psychiatry at Rush offers some tips for coping with holiday stress in the current issue of Discover Rush Online.

Halper recommends reframing your thoughts to help you cope with the stress of the holidays. According to Halper, being mindful of your thoughts can be a powerful tool for regulating your mood. Often, negative thinking is unfounded.

“If you can’t afford an elaborate spread for dinner, are family and friends really going to think poorly of you? Often, the realization that your worst nightmare isn’t likely to come true is enough to alleviate the stress,” said Halper. “And if somebody does think poorly of you because there isn’t an elaborate spread, is that person really a good friend?”

If a negative event does occur, Halper suggests using the same type of self-talk to put it in perspective.  If you dread seeing your in-laws every year and they validate that feeling with their behavior, remind yourself that you only have control over your own actions, their behavior is a reflection of themselves and not you, and the event won’t last forever.

For more tips on staying cheerful during the hustle and bustle of the holidays, read the full article on Discover Rush Online.

You can also join physicians from Rush at a free event on Wednesday, December 8, from 6 to 8 p.m. to learn how managing stress, exercising and adopting healthier eating habits can make a significant improvement in overall well-being. To register or for more information call (888) 352-RUSH (7874) or visit the Rush “Upcoming Events” page.

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