PORTLAND - ‘Tis the season of holiday stress. There are presents to buy, cookies to bake, a house to clean and the kids are out of school.
At Washington Square Friday, holiday shoppers said they were feeling it.
“I did some very early shopping. Now I’m in panic mode trying to get the rest of it done,” said mom Michelle Stuart.
”Just trying to figure out what everyone wants and what it costs – that’s the real stress,” shopper Holly Elliot said.
Dr. Miles Hassell of Providence St. Vincent Medical Center said this time of year our brains are processing two to three times more information than usual so it’s no wonder we feel overwhelmed.
“Planning ahead will help diffuse the stress,” Hassell said. "There are three things you can do before facing the mall madness: have adequate sleep, eat some good food three times a day and take a walk outdoors to think. All of your stresses are going to be much less because you’re making better choices."
When choosing stress reducing snacks Hassell recommended mineral water, almonds and dark chocolate because it contains more nutrients than milk chocolate.
For lunch, he said tuna and a few carrots will give you the energy to tackle your to-do list.
Hassell also recommended canceling something and staying home when your schedule is too packed.
Counting your blessings this time of year is also important.
"Maybe when things aren’t good for us we should reach out and find someone else to help,” advises Hassell.