Lifewatch: Holiday stress

Reported by Claire Hosmann  email
Posted by Heather Setzler  bio | email

(WECT) -- Over the years, much of the focus of the holidays has been on the gifts, but with the economy in rough shape this year, many are finding it hard to get all the people on their list the presents they want.

Because of that, many are suffering from holiday stress.

Colorful holiday displays are supposed to attract shoppers, but what if your budget is tighter this year and you can't afford more than the basic necessities?

Psychiatrist Patrice Harris says many families are faced with a new financial reality this holiday season and they may need to re-focus their plans.

Give yourself permission to scale back. It is okay not to buy a lot of gifts.

She has some ideas for those who are used to opening up their wallets during the holidays.

Perhaps this year, instead of buying everyone a gift, families pull names; at the office you draw names; at the office you bring baked goods, which can be cheaper than trying to buy several gifts.

She adds, this season, especially, there is no reason to feel guilty about scaling back.

Lower your expectations. It is not necessary to have the perfect tree, the perfect decorations. You don't have to spend a lot of money to have a good holiday season.

With that kind of resolve, you'll relieve not just emotional stress, but stress on your wallet, and what more could we ask for this holiday season?