Get a Life

By Judith Welles

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Get a Life!: Don't let the turkeys get you down

Last year at this time, I wrote about finding stores jammed at the mall and shoppers trying to get ahead of the holiday rush for gifts. Amazing how quickly things change. 

Malls still have shoppers, but they are not nearly as crowded as other years.  Parking is easy to find in the store lots. This year at Thanksgiving, we are worried about the economy and dealing with another kind of stress. To spend or not to spend, that is the question. 

Stress over money and the economy is taking an emotional and physical toll on many of us as we approach the holidays, but especially among women. Women of the baby boomer generation and older are most likely to report the economy as a significant stressor, according to a survey released last month by the American Psychological Association.  

Those at younger ages are not immune. Generation Xers (ages 30 to 43) are the women most concerned about money (89 percent report money as a source of stress) and Millennials (ages 18 to 29) are most concerned about housing costs (75 percent report housing costs as a source of stress).

The survey also included findings from several cities, including the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area. In contrast to Americans overall, D.C. area residents are more likely to cite work demands and less likely to cite the economy as a source of stress. They mention co-workers or bosses and also uncertain or undefined job expectations as sources of stress.  

According to APA, the health consequences of extreme stress are most severe when people ignore symptoms and fail to manage their stress well. The best advice is to find healthy ways to manage stress and, if you are feeling overwhelmed, reach out for support from family, friends or professionals.

Above all, at Thanksgiving, don’t let the turkeys get you down.

Posted by Judith Welles on Nov 24, 2008 at 12:13 PM


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