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

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Are you STRESSED?!

One in four adults report feeling “extreme stress” at holiday time, according to an American Psychological Association poll.

Here are some tips on how to combat that stress (courtesy of the Devereux Center for Resilient Children):

  • Grow in gratitude by appreciating the things you already have.
  • Ask for help, whether that means with shopping and cooking, cleaning the house or lending an ear when you need to talk.
  • Laugh out loud (because laughter is a proven stress buster).
  • Listen deeply. Want an idea on how to do this? Try collecting all the hand-held electronics in your household, putting them away, and then sharing some conversation over a family meal.
  • Make time for a hobby. My husband gets crabby when he hasn’t picked up his guitar in a few days. I love to write fiction. My friend enjoys knitting. Any favorite activity is a great stress antidote.
  • Practice self-calming techniques. These include listening to music and taking some deep breaths.
  • Rest. This is another one that can be the first to go during the hectic holidays. Aim for a good eight hours a night.