Donya Currie is the editor of The Free Lance-Star's Healthy Life section and Healthy Life Virginia newsletter.

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I found a great Web site today while fishing around for ways to shape an upcoming story on stress. My goal: To find some good stress inventories, or ways to measure your stress and put it into perspective. With the holidays coming up, many people will experience more stressors (or the same stressors as usual, but more acutely). If you’re curious about how your stress level measures up, or about how skilled you are at coping with stress, check out this Web site, from the University of California, Irvine:

The site provides links to several stress measurement checklists — some short, some long, on sites including

There are lots of stress inventories available online, and not just the ones linked to on the UC Irvine site. One of the most well-known is the Holmes and Rahe inventory, which you can find online, and which has you check off which kinds of life events/adjustments you’ve coped with (death of a family member, divorce, etc.) in the past year.

Interestingly, when I tried several different inventories, the results were really different. Some said I was among the lucky few to be relatively free of stress, while others said I suffered from moderate to severe stress. It all depends on which questions the inventories ask. I found some of these assessments more accurate than others, but all were thought-provoking and worth taking, especially in this busy and expectation-laden time of year.