Integrative Care Center Offers Tips for Lowering Holiday Stress

How to Keep Stress from Becoming a Holiday Tradition

New York, NY—December 1, 2005

The holiday season is here.  The demands and responsibilities of parties, decorations and presents have the potential to overshadow the fun, leaving you feeling completely stressed-out.  Such tension can contribute to and exacerbate pain, anxiety and other medical problems.  “If you are not careful, the holidays take an emotional toll on the body, ranging from increased blood pressure to weakening your immune system,” says Gina Kearney, Holistic Nurse Practitioner and Site Manager at the Integrative Care Center (ICC) affiliated with Hospital for Special Surgery in New York.

Experts at the ICC have seen the impact of holiday stress and offer the following 7 tips:

  1. Set realistic goals.
    Planning ahead, shopping, making travel plans early, and pacing yourself will certainly decrease the last minute anxiety associated with long lines and delays.
  2. Don’t do it alone.
    Plan activities with your family that will help turn chores into family activities.
  3. Scale down your expectations.
    Perfection and holiday planning are a bad mix.
  4. Manage your time.
    Think about how much time you have, and plan accordingly. Build in time for last-minute changes or crises.
  5. Try to relax.
    Deep breathing exercises, relaxation tapes, and gentle yoga are often helpful.
  6. Find time to exercise.
    If you are already in a regular exercise program (aerobics, running, swimming, etc.), it is important to keep up the usual routine during the holidays.
  7. Pay attention to your own feelings.
    Share real feelings with a good friend.  Even a quick email or phone call can help.  They’re probably feeling overloaded too.

The Integrative Care Center (ICC) affiliated with Hospital for Special Surgery offers patients the best medicine of today and tomorrow.  The Center’s staff promotes wellness and enhances the long-term mobility and health of patients with rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases.  They follow a comprehensive approach that is ideally suited to individuals interested in preventive health services as well as those with complex medical conditions including chronic joint pain, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, and the like.

Conveniently located in mid-Manhattan, the ICC provides a wide array of orthopedic and rheumatologic services as well as a full range of physical therapy programs for individuals and groups. The alternative care services include acupuncture, tai chi, yoga, pilates, massage therapy, mind-body therapy and chiropractic therapy.

About Hospital for Special Surgery
Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) is the world’s leading academic medical center focused on musculoskeletal health. HSS is nationally ranked No. 1 in orthopedics and No. 2 in rheumatology by U.S. News & World Report (2016-2017), and is the first hospital in New York State to receive Magnet Recognition for Excellence in Nursing Service from the American Nurses Credentialing Center four consecutive times. HSS has one of the lowest infection rates in the country. HSS is an affiliate of Weill Cornell Medical College and as such all Hospital for Special Surgery medical staff are faculty of Weill Cornell. The hospital's research division is internationally recognized as a leader in the investigation of musculoskeletal and autoimmune diseases. Hospital for Special Surgery is located in New York City and online at


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