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UAMS Living Healthy | Wellness and Fitness
Women's Health - December 2009

Holiday Harmony

As you enter the home stretch in the countdown to the holidays, UAMS has a few final tips to help you enjoy your celebrations.

Take a mental vacation. "If you're frustrated by standing in line or waiting on hold on the phone, visualize a place where you were happy. If you love a beach, the mountains, or your grandmother’s home, see, hear and feel yourself there," says Amy Phillips, M.D., one of our OB/GYN doctors at UAMS. "Rather than focusing on how long you have to wait, grab the chance to take a quick walk down memory lane."

Set some ground rules. Discuss some dos and don’ts before you sit down to carve the turkey. If your family has heated political discussions that turn nasty, make a deal with everyone in advance that politics will not be discussed during a certain period of time. Some of the topics that you’ll discuss during the moratorium might turn out to be a pleasant surprise.

Reward patience and kindness. Thank others for being patient when you've held up the line looking for your debit card. This will soothe their stress and yours while it encourages others to be more patient.

Ask for help. Many times we lose our cool because we're overloaded. Remember that you won’t get a prize for doing too much, especially when you’re not doing it in the right spirit. And remember that while family members may not do things “right,” it is easier than doing it yourself.

Get some rest. As hard as it is to do this time of the year, you’ll be happier if you set some boundaries to ensure that you get enough sleep. Feeling rested will help you cope with little holiday disasters such as the dog licking the dip bowl or your cousin popping in with her new boyfriend.

Go from being a wallflower to the hit of the party. Many people feel awkward at social events, so you can be the most popular by truly listening to others. Throw out the standard questions about work and activities, and prepare a list of fun questions such as asking other guests when they learned the truth about Santa, what is their New Year’s resolution or what they would buy if they won a million dollars.

Find a way to help others. Whether it’s taking a bag of canned goods to a local food pantry or singing Christmas carols at the local nursing home, you’ll all feel better about taking action together to share the spirit of the season. No effort is too small.

Realize that you don’t pick your family’s partners. While you may not care for your brother-in-law’s new girlfriend, it is his right to choose a partner. If you can’t respect the partner, respect his right to make his own mistakes.

Limit time spent with people who cause you stress. It’s OK to leave early in the afternoon while everyone is still jovial instead of staying until early evening when everyone is getting on each other’s nerves. You deserve to have some peace in your world this holiday season too.

Take a time out. If you will be spending several days with family members, some time apart can be healthy. You don’t have to spend every minute together, and everyone needs a break from the holiday stimulus overload.

Be flexible. No matter what the plan, be willing and able to adjust it. No matter how well you planned ahead of time, surprises and unexpected events will occur. Flexibility allows you to bring variability and energy to your holiday plan. Stubbornly insisting that the plan be precisely followed when roadblocks occur can create unwelcome stress and tension. Relax and go with the flow.

Reconnect after the holidays. Plan some fun time with friends after the holidays so that you can exchange stories about your holiday celebrations. Laughing with loved ones will help put any adversity that you experienced into perspective.

At UAMS, we wish you and your family a healthy and happy holiday season and all the best in the New Year.

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In This Issue:

Pack Right for the Holidays to Avoid the ER

Holiday Eating Without the Guilt – Or the Pounds

Life Expectancy in U.S. Hits New High

Healthy Recipe: Whole-Grain Party Mix

Car Safety Quiz

Holiday Leftovers

Effective Delegating Quiz

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