"The biggest cause of holiday stress is families," says moderator Deborah Gentry, a Parker-based author and motivational speaker. "People will play on your emotions with the Christmas spirit. You can give and give and give and have nothing left for yourself.
"During the holiday season, people get really, really tired," she adds. "On top of regular work, there is shopping, wrapping, entertaining. It's all about time management; you have to limit your calendar."
But don't expect hand-holding or meditation tips from Gentry. The author of Stress Wars: How to Win Back Your Life has researched the causes of stress for over twenty years. Her strategy to eliminate it is as follows: Identify it, rank it, attack it and get rid of it. "The whole program is designed to help people organize and deal with stress," she says. "You have to remain cool and calm."
Gentry's course offers simple steps to reduce holiday madness. For example, if a certain relative always drives you batty, then don't invite the offender to your celebration. And her number-one piece of advice for avoiding a holiday meltdown: Stay away from the mall. "Get your shopping done now," she advises.
Gentry will present her free seminar at the Lone Tree Library (8827 Lone Tree Parkway, Lone Tree) on November 25, from 7 to 9 p.m. Pre-registration is requested; call 303-799-4446 to sign up.
Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, jingle all the way...