Managing Holiday Stress and COPD

The holidays can be a very stressful time for anyone – you want to buy presents for your friends and family, plan a trip, plan a family meal and a get-together, and handle the cold weather that you might be experiencing in your part of the world. All of this can be hard to handle for someone who is in full health, not to mention for someone who has a chronic lung condition, such as COPD, or for someone who needs to use oxygen therapy on a daily basis.

The key is to not out-do yourself. Buying presents and working yourself into a stressful situation isn't worth taking a toll on your health. It's important to keep in mind that your friends and loved ones would want you to stay healthy above all else this time of year. It's true that stress can get you sick, and this is a real risk during the holiday season. We are in the midst of cold and flu season, and the flu, or even just a run of the mill cold can exacerbate your COPD.

Here are some ways you can manage your busy holiday season, so you aren't trying to do too much at once and wearing yourself too thin, as well as ways to relax and just enjoy this special time of year.

Staying Calm and De-Stressing

Write down what you have to do this holiday season on a calendar, a planner, or just in a list form with the dates and times, if applicable. Space these things apart so that you have plenty of time between each event or activity. This gives you a time buffer, just in case something comes up. You won't feel stressed out with a quickly approaching deadline. If possible, try to have only 2 or 3, maybe 4 of these activities on your agenda for this holiday season.

Keep it simple with your finances, and think as thrifty as possible. You should essentially avoid Black Friday Shopping and opt for Cyber Monday shopping instead, which is done all online. If you don't have internet, thrift stores are all the rage, even with younger people. Shopping and thinking about your loved ones shouldn't send you into a tizzy – it should be more enjoyable than stressful.

Keep your spending realistic and don't stress out if you can't afford to get your grandchildren or children that iPad that they want. You can even pool your money with other members of the family, if a family member wants a certain high-priced gift. Many people are fine with one large or expensive gift, as opposed to many smaller, less-expensive ones.

Have friends or family help you set up your holiday decorations, which will save you some work and exhaustion, so you can enjoy the decorations, as well as the time spent with others. This kind of enjoyment is important to keep your stress levels down. After everything has been set up, sip some hot cocoa and watch Christmas specials and enjoy the decorations. Scents are important when you are trying to relax. Natural pine scents, candles that smell like vanilla or freshly baked cookies are two great holiday scents that will help you relax and ease into the good cheer of the holiday season.

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