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Blue and Broke for the Holidays
Date:12/22/2008

r people in need rather than each other, Bagley suggested.

"It's really a good time for people to evaluate their relationship to money and, if you're in a family situation, to talk about that with your kids," Gold said.

And sometimes a little guilt isn't such a bad thing. "It's the reality," Gold said. "People have less money, and it's probably good to feel a little guilty. It prevents you from spending more."

More information

For more ways to cope with holiday stress, check out information from a guide provided by Mental Health America.

Relieving Stress Needn't Take Time

De-stressing needn't take lots of time. Harvard Medical School's "Portable Guide to Stress Relief" suggests one- and two-minute techniques:

  • If you have one minute: While sitting comfortably, take a few slow, deep breaths and quietly repeat to yourself, "I am," as you breathe in, and "at peace," as you breathe out. Repeat slowly two or three times. Then feel your entire body relax into the support of the chair.
  • If you have two minutes: Count down slowly from 10 to zero, and with each number, take one complete breath, inhaling and exhaling. For example, breathe in deeply saying, "10," to yourself; breathe out slowly. On your next breath, say, "nine," and so on. If you feel lightheaded, count down more slowly to space your breaths further apart. When you reach zero, you should feel more relaxed. If not, repeat the exercise.



SOURCES: Timothy Fong, M.D., professor of psychiatry, director, UCLA Impulse Control Disorders Clinic, and co-director, UCLA Gambling Studies Program, University of California, Los Angele
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