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Stress-Busting During The Christmas Rush

BOSTON (CBS) -- Holiday joy may be everywhere but maneuvering through your to-do list has a way of sucking the peace and harmony out of everything.

Christmas is a week away and Cherisa Zaft bought her tree, but hasn't put it up yet.

"Here it is, ready to go," Zaft told WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Karen Twomey.

"And I'm not," she said.

(Photo credit: Karen Twomey/WBZ NewsRadio 1030)

It's not just the tree Zaft, a working mother of three, has to worry about having ready by Christmas.

"Presents for family and getting food ready and people ready," Zaft said.

Zaft says sometimes the hardest thing for her -- and perhaps for all of us -- are trying to manage the things we think we should be doing.

"You see these things online, on Facebook on Pinterest, like, 'oh, look at these really cute homemade gifts that only took 40 hours per present to make,'" Zaft said.

According to Dr. Nadjia Reilly, a counseling psychology instructor with the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology, if you want to be happy, ditch the expectations and embrace imperfection.

"Instead of going for perfection, going for happiness and for creating traditions even if they have some kind of funky things going on in there," said Reilly.

"Think about what are the three things today that I'm really grateful for, who are the three people that I'm really grateful for," Reilly added.

Zaft's advice for limiting the stress is learning to say 'no.'

"Telling people I'm doing as much as I can do, and being okay with that and not letting it guilt trip you," Zaft said.


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