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[访谈录] 【整理】2007-11-12&11-14, 教你五招轻松搞定压力

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I've heard about the recent survey that found a third of us are living with extreme stress. Well, as the holiday is approaching, the shopping season kicks in, it's not gonna get any easier. So we've decided it's time to enlist some stress reducing help from Angela Burt-Murray as the editor-in-chief of Essence magazine and Dr. Gail Saltz Today contributor…and contributing psychologist as well as biologist. Nice to have you here. Psychiatrist. Sorry about that. Good to have you. So this is a time of the year when all of us, I think, get so overloaded. And I know this is something that your readers have written in voraciously about, isn't that right?

Absolutely, absolutely, one of the things they're telling me about is as they're coming down to the end of the year, they're feeling a lot of pressure with work deadlines, financial pressure, family obligation, and of course, shopping for the holiday.

Yeah, and Gail, I mean, speaking of the holidays, how does the stress just escalate during this time of the year?

The bottom line is women still bear the burden for the holidays. They are still, you know, whether they are working or not working, or single, or whatever the case may be, they are the one to sort of, are the, you know, make the holiday, and they feel that was to keep up everything else that they're doing during the year and not only make the holiday but make the Norman Rockwell, you know June Creeper sort (Right) of perfect holiday.

And that includes, generally involving family and family adds a lot of stress too and a lot of time I think it's as you said women tend to bear the burden alone. You feel like I've got to be the one who has to do it all alone.

They have to make it all beautiful, they have to make it all delicious, they have to meet their children's expectation, and they have to manage all those family relationships. And think about it, these are the relationships, that usually you don't necessarily see the people during the year all the time. And yet they all come to your home and you have been together for a long period. And that can actually add a lot of stress.

So you say investigate old stories to help manage families, what do you mean by that?

What I mean by that is I think women often feel the expectation because they are thinking I wanna do it like I remembered my mother doing it. Or I wanna do it differently than my mother did it, but these old stories about how perfect they're supposed to be, they come from somewhere. And if you understand where that expectation is coming from, you'll have a better chance of being more objective about. You know, maybe I don't have to bake 100 different varieties of cookies; maybe that's not where the load comes from. (Right) Maybe that's something my mother chose to do but I'm gonna do it differently.

And part of the investigating, some of the feelings a lot of women feel guilt around this time of a year too, right? (Oh, sure.) And you say that's the part of the thing that you have to get rid of.

Right! You have to let go of the guilt. They tell you when you get on an airplane that in a case of an emergency when the oxygen mask/ comes down, put it on yourself first. You have to save yourself before you can help others. So it's really important that you let go of the guilt, prioritize and learn when you have to say no to something that you are just not able to do.

And moving onto money, because there's another big issue on the holidays (Yeah) and Gail, you say it's time to realign expectations, what do you mean by that?

I mean you have to…first of all you have to decide, you know, what really matters. And you know, again I advocate for the relationships matter/, so if you're stressed out about money, if you are overspending, if you are gonna put yourself into debt later, then you are going to be an anxious, grumpy mom (Yeah) that actually no one is gonna really wanna be around.

And when the credit card bill comes, you would be even grumpier in January.

And it would stress your relationship (Right) and so you really need to make up a plan that's reasonable for after the new year.

Exactly. Angela says to have a solid financial plan.
Yeah, get a budget, and do something really simple like avoid the holiday crowd and just shop online. You can shop by price and you can also…a lot of retailers have special programs where you can get free gift wrap and free pa(cked )eh..delivery. So it's easy and cost-effective.

Some of the burden, (absolutely) some of the stress also with your husband and your boyfriend, your partner, Gail, you say the important thing is to really share the burden.

You know, the interesting thing is, actually, people like to be needed. If you say "you know what, this year Thanksgiving we are doing a potluck, can you bring the sweet potatoes? Can you bring the dessert?" You said to your sister, "you know, we are gonna be together, can you do this?" People actually like to contribute and feel that they are part of things and they are needed. But women hate to ask. They feel like that makes me less then, if I farm it out. And actually it is really a mistake. And if you would ask, ask your spouse. "Hey, you take this part of shopping list and I will take this part of shopping list." He's actually gonna feel good. And it's not dumping it. So you really should ask, you both will feel better.

And feeling better is another really key topic. Angela, you say really focus on your wellness, your health during the holiday.

Absolutely, during this stressful time, the health issues can become, you know, more prevalent. So you really need to make sure that you are eating right, you are getting enough rest and you are also listening to your body. And give yourself a little time out occasionally. You know, take time to meditate or just to focus on yourself.

(have a cup of tea about the firer)

Because after that, people, because they get anxious and stressed, they drink more during the holidays, (Right) they eat to satisfy their anxiety and they drink more alcohol, they go to more parties and you don’t feel good. So actually do other things to relieve your stress and be mindful of the overeating and the overdrinking.

Right! Angela Burt-Murray, Dr. Gail Saltz, thanks so much. (Thank you)
You're waiting for a train, a train that will take you far away. You know where you hope this train will take you, but you can't be sure. But it doesn't matter - because we'll be together.


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