Tips on how to handle holiday stress and its triggers

Paul Kurtz
December 17, 2018 - 4:00 am
Pax Tandon is shown at a book signing event for "Mindfulness Matters."

Pax Tandon

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Maybe for some people it is the "most wonderful time of the year" but for others the holiday season is the most stressful time of year.

From airport delays to traffic jams and huge crowds, there is no shortage of triggers. One of the biggest comes from back home, according to a new survey by the Travel Mindfullness Report. It found that more than half of Philadelphia area homeowners said their main concern is that someone will break into their homes while they're away.   

So how to cope is the question.

Pax Tandon, a local positive psychology expert, recommends staying in the moment and not stressing on things you can't control. Take long lines, for instance.

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"That stress does not make that line move any faster. Instead we can use that opportunity to just ground in the present and maybe that means we actually start to take notice of our environment. Maybe that means we actually connect to our neighbors and we have conversations with new people traveling to different places," she told KYW Newsradio.

If you find yourself rekindling a family feud during your travels, she recommends the 90-second rule.

"The shelf life of an emotion is 90 seconds. So if you're having an angry response, if you give it that 90 seconds you'll come back to a baseline and that non-reactive baseline is much better for communication because then we're much more able to receive what the other person is saying," she said.

If you feel you're completely overwhelmed, she says hit the pause button, stop take a deep breath, and reset yourself.