Planning for the holidays and entertaining family and friends can be stressful in these hard economic times.  Especially when reflecting on loss loved ones can bring back unwelcome memories which may increase stress and unwanted emotions.  Those who have families who are incarcerated also ponder on their mental, physical and emotional well-being while doing their time behind bars.  Yes, the holidays present constant demands such as parties, baking cookies, cleaning, purchasing gifts on a ‘shoe string’ budget and entertaining.  I have found that planning ahead and sticking to a realistic budget before starting gift and food shopping is helpful.  Accept that family traditions change overtime as children and grand-children may be unable to visit due to their work and financial demands.  Acknowledge your feelings about these changes and find creative ways to connect and celebrate together such as sharing pictures, e-mail and videos.  Most of all, holidays can become a free for all by overindulging at holiday parties on sweets and alcoholic drinks.  Remember to get plenty of rest and continue to incorporate physical activity into your daily schedule.  Most of all take a breather and make some to for yourself.  Go to tovacaresblogspot.com to read Mayo Clinics, Healthy Lifestyle:  Stress management
             All the best,  Dr. Nina
Staying Mindful during the Holiday Season

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