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Editor at Large

Surviving the holidays

- Last modified: November 27, 2013 at 2:53 PM

Parties. Shopping. Family visits.

And yes, even work.

The holidays go beyond busy, all the way to very stressful. And that's why Patient First – which operates medical centers in the Greater Lehigh Valley and beyond – is offering advice to limit the holiday stress.

(In Monday's Dec. 2 print edition of Lehigh Valley Business, look for a column by Sybil F. Stershic of Lower Macungie Township about how to engage and help employees during the holidays. A marketing and employee/customer relations expert, Stershic's piece has great practical recommendations.)

Meanwhile, here is that advice from Patient First to minimize stress and help you to enjoy the holidays:

  • Be a realist.

Many people think the holidays are ruined if things aren't perfect.

Real life is not like a holiday movie. Nothing is perfect when people are involved. Relax when things don't go the way that you think they should.

  • Stick to your budget.

You can't guarantee a happy holiday by going on a spending spree. Decide how much money you can afford to spend and stick to the budget so post-holiday bills don't catch you by surprise.

  • Make a plan.

Grab the calendar and schedule days for shopping, visiting friends and other activities. Don't wait until it's too late to finish your wrapping, baking and mailing.

And make time to get the work done so there's time for fun.

  • Simplify.

Remember that it's OK to say no. You can't do everything for everyone or join every holiday activity that comes your way. Make time for yourself so that you are rested for the times you are with friends and family.

  • Exercise.

Exercise and good nutrition help reduce stress.


As for me, perhaps for the first time in my career as a journalist, I will not be working on Black Friday. I haven't decided if I will go shoplifting, er, shopping, on Friday, but some of those advertising circulars, mailings and television commercials are very inviting.

Let the stress begin.

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