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'The Business of Health Care Report'

Managing Holiday Stress

I’m Doug Hawthorne, CEO of Texas Health Resources, with “The Business of Health Care Report.”

The holidays are a joyous time of year, but they also can be very stressful. This year may present more stresses than usual as the economic downturn impacts everything from how much food goes on the table to how many gifts you can buy.

Before you get too wrapped up in the tasks of the holiday season, take a deep breath and focus on the joys of the holiday season. You may not be able to change the added stressors the season brings, but you can control how you approach and react to those stressors.

Set reasonable expectations with your family and friends for how much time and money you can commit this holiday season. Resolve to take restful breaks between tasks. Don’t let the frenzied rush of crowds get to you. And most importantly, take some time off and relax.

Americans give back 438 million unused vacation days each year, which equates to about $60 billion in free labor given back to employers. But they’re not doing themselves or their employers any favors. U.S. companies spend more than three times as much annually on stress and stress-related illnesses.

Stress can cause high blood pressure, diabetes, sleep loss, headaches, tooth grinding, digestive problems, anxiety and depression: So take some time for yourself and your family.

For Texas Health Resources and its faith based family of hospitals, Texas Health Presbyterian, Texas Health Harris Methodist, and Texas Health Arlington Memorial, I’m Doug Hawthorne.

Click to listen to the taped broadcast.

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