sábado, 28 de diciembre de 2013

Reading test: 10 Tips for Managing Your Holiday Stress

In mid-December New Avenue published the article by Suzanne Gerber 10 Tips for Managing Your Holiday Stress, which is more than perfect to put our reading comprehension skills to the test these festive days.

Match the headings with each of the paragraphs below. 0 is an example and there is a heading you do not need to use.

A Expect things to go wrong. Paragraph 0 (example)

B Maintain healthy routines.
C Let others help.
D Don’t keep delaying things that must be done.
E Stay in the moment. 
F Try to get in touch with old buddies
G Take time for yourself.
H Take a break from electronic devices.
I Focus on one thing at a time.
J Don’t try to resolve family conflicts.
K Eliminate financial stressors.

0. The turkey may get overcooked or your kids may hate their Christmas gifts, but remember: These are not ultimately the most important things, says Dr. Masand. “Appreciate the season for the time spent with loved ones, create new memories and don’t sweat the small stuff.”

1. We all want to buy that perfect gift or prepare a memorable meal, but those (ephemeral) things can take a toll on your wallet and your stress levels. Besides, a modest but an individually selected gift can bring someone more joy than a generic big-ticket item. “Make a budget and stick to it,” says Dr. Masand. Your family and friends are more likely to remember a calm, happy you than what was under the tree.

2. This is a biggie. You don’t have to be the hero of the holiday season, says Dr. Masand. “Ask each person to bring a dish to dinner, make decorating a family activity where the kids help out and consider a grab-bag gift exchange where each person buys only one gift to alleviate the stress of having to get something for everyone.”

3. Easier said than done, of course, what with meal-planning, gift shopping and organizing family activities. Sinha shares something that works for her. “I tell my kids to think of the brain as a ball. If you have five different things going on at the same time, you’re dividing that ball into five pieces and breaking up your resources. Focus on one thing and commit to doing that for the next 10 minutes or whatever it takes. Then take a break and recoup before you do the next thing.”

4. Get started a few weeks earlier and do a little at a time. By all means, says Dr. Masand, make a list!

5.  “I have people make a list of things they like to do, such as reading a book or getting a manicure — small things, but they’re positive,” says Sinha. “Those activities have been proven to decrease stress.”

6. Whatever you do throughout the year to keep in check, don’t stop now. Keep going to the gym, running or biking. “You also want to get enough sleep, eat nutritious foods, drink enough water and keep up with your social network,” says Sinha. “When you become stressed, you feel overloaded and your body starts to respond with increased heartbeats, blood pressure and stress hormones.”

7. This is the last thing you should try to do. “Many individuals use the family holidays to try to resolve long-standing issues with family members,” says Dr. Masand. “And this often has disastrous consequences — particularly when alcohol is involved. Save these matters for a later date, and ideally in a one-to-one conversation. “

8. This sounds simple, but with so much going on, it can be particularly challenging. “Don’t act in the moment, just observe it," Sinha advises. "Observe your thoughts — then let go of them. Over time and with practice, you can almost free yourself from the urges that become actions and lead to trouble.”

9. The holidays are a wonderful excuse for a “digital detox.” Those seemingly innocuous beeps and pings actually have a physiological effect on us. “Your heart rate goes up and it takes a while to come down,” says Sinha. “While I’m all for the gadgets, I would absolutely say take a break from them.”

Photo credit: Thinkstock

1K; 2C; 3I; 4D; 5G; 6B; 7J; 8E; 9H; (F not used)