Holidays got you down? Tips to enjoy the season

WASHINGTON — For many Americans, the holidays bring stress, not joy and traveling to see family can seem more like a chore than vacation.

But Peter Sheras, a clinical psychologist and professor at the University of Virginia Curry School of Education, has tips to help ease the holiday blues.

“Acknowledge that it’s going to be stressful,” Sheras told WTOP. Be realistic. “Imagine how you would like it to be.”

Plan for some time for yourself. Take a walk or visit a favorite place if you’re back in your hometown. The space away from family can be help reduce stress and be restorative, he said.

Sheras also said to remember the season.

“Remember to be generous — that’s how we’d like people to treat us, that’s how we can treat other people.”

For those who’ve lost someone recently, the holidays provide an opportunity to reminisce, to talk about the person and laugh over shared memories.

“This is all helpful and all healing,” he said.

Avoid excesses. He said you don’t have to spend a lot or eat too much to enjoy the holiday — just a little more is all it takes to make the occasion special.

Mike Murillo

Mike Murillo is a reporter and anchor at WTOP. Before joining WTOP in 2013, he worked in radio in Orlando, New York City and Philadelphia.

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