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November 30, 2018

Make Your Holidays Happy And Healthy

Manage expectations to reduce stress

Dr. Rebecca Doro, ThedaCare Physicians-Kimberly

November 30, 2018

Make Your Holidays Happy And Healthy

Manage Expectations to Reduce Stress

KIMBERLY, Wis. – With Thanksgiving behind us, the holiday season is about to swing into full gear. Often regarded as a time of peace and joy, the holidays may also cause stress. Reducing that stress can help us create happy and healthy experiences for others and ourselves.

Dr. Rebecca Doro, a family practice physician at ThedaCare Physicians-Kimberly, explained managing our expectations is the first step in preventing holiday stress.

“We often add to our stress by setting expectations that are difficult to achieve,” said Dr. Doro. “For example, when planning a menu for a family gathering, be realistic about what you can prepare in the time available and what your budget can afford. The gathering is about family and friends having fun together. While good food is desired, it doesn’t need to be a gourmet presentation.”

And it’s not only about setting expectations for you. 

“We also need to be realistic about what we expect of others,” said Dr. Doro. “If you want someone to help, be clear about what you want them to do.”

Holiday stress typically revolves around finances, food, family and festivities. Dr. Doro explained these stresses can be managed.

Here are some tips to manage stress this holiday season:

Shop wisely

  • Set a budget and stick to it, make lists, don’t worry about finding the perfect gift and shop early.

Keep family get-togethers easy

  • Plan your menu to fit your budget, ask others to bring food, re-evaluate troublesome traditions and set aside differences and grievances for another time.

Manage your time

  • Your family doesn’t have to attend every holiday festivity. Establish priorities, set aside quiet time and don’t overschedule.

Plan ahead and stay organized

  • Lists are a great way to reduce stress. Set aside time for shopping, baking and cleaning.

Find a stress reliever

  • Take a walk, get a massage, read a book or watch a movie. Take time for your needs.

“The perfect holiday celebration doesn’t exist,” said Doro. “Trying to create it only increases stress. Focus on what is important to your family and friends and honor those things; your holidays will be much happier.”

Dr. Doro recommends that people also maintain a healthy lifestyle throughout the holiday season.

“Continue exercising, watch your diet and get enough rest during the holidays,” she said. “Try to live your normal life schedule as much as possible. Then, relax and enjoy these special days.”

As a parent, she understands the pressure families feel during the busy season. For her and her family, they take into account the unexpected and embrace it.

“With multiple people involved, especially young children, there is no fail-proof plan,” she said. “You just have to be ready to make the best of whatever comes up. Sometimes the best memories are made when things don’t go as planned.”

About ThedaCare

For more than 110 years, ThedaCare® has been committed to finding a better way to deliver serious and complex healthcare to patients throughout Northeast and Central Wisconsin. The organization serves a community of more than 600,000 residents and employs more than 6,700 healthcare professionals throughout the regions. ThedaCare has seven hospitals located in Appleton, Neenah, Berlin, Waupaca, Shawano, New London and Wild Rose as well as 31 clinics in nine counties. ThedaCare is the first in Wisconsin to be a Mayo Clinic Care Network Member, giving our specialists the ability to consult with Mayo Clinic experts on a patient’s care. ThedaCare is a non-profit healthcare organization with a level II trauma center, comprehensive cancer treatment, stroke and cardiac programs as well as a foundation dedicated to community service.

For more information, visit or follow ThedaCare on Facebook and Twitter.

Media should call Cassandra Wallace, Public Relations Specialist at 920.442.0328 or the ThedaCare Regional Medical Center-Neenah switchboard at 920.729.3100 and ask for the marketing person on call.