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Holiday Shopping Brings on More Stress Than Bargained for
Date:11/15/2007

Americans Face More Pressure During Holidays to Spend Money, Adding to Already Stressed Lives

WASHINGTON, Nov. 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- For the nearly 1-in-5 Americans who shop to manage stress, sales and bargains can bring joy as Black Friday officially kicks off another holiday shopping season. But shoppers need to be cautious-excessive spending in pursuit of the "perfect" holiday can bring on more stress, as it does for many Americans during the holiday season.

Almost three-quarters of Americans report that money and work are significant sources of stress in their lives, according to the American Psychological Association (APA) 2007 Stress in America survey. The holidays then compound the pressure, as revealed in APA's 2006 poll on holiday stress.

Middle-income Americans are particularly affected as everyday financial pressures are amplified by demands to spend more. With the pressure to create the perfect holiday--a memorable meal, expensive gifts, elaborate decorations and more--not having enough money to do it all causes stress to more than 60 percent of those surveyed on holiday stress. And the worries continue when the credit card bills arrive a month later.

Taking the time to find healthy ways to manage their stress is not a priority on most Americans' holiday to-do list. More than 80 percent report that they take no additional steps to manage their stress this time of year. With hectic schedules and added holiday demands, Americans report that they are increasingly likely to turn to unhealthy behaviors like comfort eating (56 percent), drinking more alcohol (30 percent) and sedentary activities like sleeping and watching TV (43 percent).

"It's healthy to share in the holiday spirit by giving gifts, donating time and money to charities and celebrating with family, friends and coworkers. But it's also important not to get overwhelmed by the pressure to make this year's holidays the best ever," says Dr. David Bal
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SOURCE American Psychological Association
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