Friday, December 14, 2012

A Few Tips Can Help with Holiday Stress Reduction

Now is the time to get started if you want to be relaxed during this holiday season according to Dr. Jim Wirth, a human development specialist with University of Missouri Extension.

“It is never too late to set some priorities. Get the family together and distribute the workload for the holidays,” said Wirth.

To deal with shopping stress, Wirth suggests making lists of what you would like to do and buy. Then, keep this list handy so you can take advantage of sales and unexpected shopping opportunities.

“Set a realistic budget by considering how much money you have to spend for everything,” said Wirth.

Here are some additional tips to consider if you want a hassle free holiday:

• Attend special plays and music programs during the holidays.

• Assist a charitable organization in your community with their holiday projects.

• Rent a classic holiday video, like “Miracle on 34th Street,” “White Christmas” or “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

• Visit with neighbors or old friends in the neighborhood where you grew up.

• Donate part of your gift budget to a favorite charity.

• For low-cost fun, organize friends for an old-fashioned evening of neighborhood caroling. Then come back for hot chocolate and carols around the piano.

• Keep parties small. Go potluck, or try the nontraditional such as a soup supper.

• Shop by mail, but be sure to order as early as possible. Keep track of what has been ordered. Save receipts and canceled checks until you’re sure the merchandise is satisfactory.

• Get holiday stamps early to avoid long lines. Then, address cards and envelopes while watching television or waiting for an appointment or in line.

• Set deadlines for yourself to avoid putting everything off until the last minute.

• Help family members with their shopping. Make a list of gifts you would like to receive.

For more information, contact either of MU Extension’s human development specialists in southwest Missouri: Renette Wardlow at (417) 581-3558 or Dr. Jim Wirth, (417) 881-8909.

Since 1914, Greene County residents have sought help from Extension in areas related to agriculture, gardening, 4-H youth, nutrition, families, business and community development. Members of “Friends of Greene County Extension” contribute financially to make it possible for Extension to continue having a positive impact on the quality of life in Greene County, Mo. To learn how you can help go online to or call (417) 881-8909. The Greene County Extension Center is located inside the Springfield-Greene County Botanical Center, 2400 S. Scenic, Ave., Springfield, Mo.


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