NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – As the holidays get into full swing, so does the stress.
All the festivities, shopping, and planning means a lot of extra work – and it may affect some people more than others.
CBS2’s Kiran Dhillon talked to the experts to find out what you can do to stay relaxed and still enjoy your holidays.
With just two days left to thanksgiving, Kelli Naccari is rushing to finish preparations for the big day.
“I just want to get through Thanksgiving and then on Monday I’ll ‘Cyber Monday’ the heck out of my shopping list.”
With only her husband working, the 47-year-old mom of three is especially worried about how much things are going to cost.
“This year the financial piece of it is starting to crack down on us.”
She’s not the only one – a new poll by Mount Sinai South Nassau finds women under 50 are the most stressed out during the holidays.
“Those women probably have more of a likelihood to have younger children. She’s the one cooking, shopping. Not to say men don’t help a bit, but realistically more of these responsibilities fall on women,” Dr. Aaron E. Glatt, chair of the Department of Medicine at Mount Sinai South Nassau.
The poll found that while stress increases across the board for most people, 61 percent of women surveyed say their stress level is high or very high during the holidays.
One in five reportedly turn to alcohol and drugs to relieve tension.
The poll found finances and family issues were the two main reasons for stress, though overscheduling, shopping, and overeating also play a part.
“The holidays involve a lot of preparation in terms of food, cleaning, prep of house. There’s financial considerations, it’s expensive so people are under more pressure to earn income,” Dr. Glatt said.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed or anxious, experts say there are many things you can do to decrease your stress.
The main thing is to take part in active hobbies, those are any activities that distract you or take your mind off of the stress.
Exercising, cooking, reading, and listening to music can all help.
Dr. Glatt says since stress can have an adverse long term impacts on your health, coping mechanisms are key.
“Spend some relaxing time away from the phone, work and your job. Spend quiet time with someone you love can be a great way to relax,” Dr. Glatt added.
For Naccari, staying organized gets her through the holidays.
“Always planning. To-do list after to-do list after to-do list. I have one in my purse right now,” Naccari said.
If these tips don’t work, Dr. Glatt says talking to your primary care doctor is the next step.