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Holidays = More Heart Attacks?

The Holidays are among us!  It all fun and games and no stress…right?  Well, maybe if you are 6 years old!  Studies show that stress is greatly increased between Thanksgiving and New Years; but I am guessing this is no surprise to you; as it was not to me.  But how bad is the stress?  According to  Robert A. Kloner, MD, PhD, Heart Institute, Good Samaritan Hospital and the American Heart Association:

When we plotted daily rates of death from ischemic heart disease in Los Angeles County during November, December, and January, we were struck by an increase in deaths starting around Thanksgiving, climbing through Christmas, peaking on New Year’s Day, and then falling…

So how do you avoid becoming next years statistic?

1. Plan ahead.

Part of the problem is our financial obligations.  We have our little budgets planned for each month and try to stick to them through the year.  When Christmas comes around our budgets go off track and we are left with more month than money.  So what if we saved for Christmas all year long?  Its as simple as saving $20 every pay period or $10 a week.  This would give you $520 to start shopping with!  I know for me that would be a good chunk of gifts for children and family.

2. Perfection

People tend to want their Christmas day to be perfect.  This is impossible!  There are going to be cranky children, food may be a little cold or a little burned, relatives are going to show up late…and the list can go on.  But lets step back and think about last year, better yet; ask your kids about last year.  Do they remember what gifts they got or do they remember the drive you took to look at the neighborhood Christmas lights.  For me personally, the kids could not remember one toy they got last year….ugh!  But they did remember walking through the local churches live nativity.  They remembered how funny it was when the tree fell down because the cat tried to climb our fake tree (was not funny then).  Truth is, make memories out of the craziness that is the holidays.  Most memories can be changed from stressful to funny depending on how you react to it and your decision to go with the flow.  So try and stress less about your retail perfection and relax and enjoy the holidays.

3. Less is More

Yep!  Less is defiantly More!  You don’t have to spend so much money on everyone or make so much food.  When I am making my Christmas Day “food plan” I tend to go overboard.  Breakfast consists of pancakes, bacon, eggs, toast, and fruit.  As soon as we are done and stuffed, its time to clean up and make the Christmas lunch meal which consists of yams, mashed potatoes, turkey, gravy, green bean casserole, rolls, stuffing, and don’t forget desert!  By the time I am done slaving in the kitchen on lunch and setting out the food I am exhausted; and everyone is still full from breakfast.  So the disappointment begins…

The holidays don’t need to cause a heart attack…a memory no one will forget next year.  So avoid the stress, plan for next year starting New Years; only $20 a paycheck, and remember less is more in the holidays!

Have a Heart Healthy Day!

Kristi Krouse