For NJ residents, holidays and stress go hand in hand
It's about time to deck the halls. Just make sure you don't deck the guy in the car next to you.
Research from New Jersey insurance group Plymouth Rock Assurance finds traffic will likely be the biggest cause of stress during this holiday season.
In the survey of 1,000 New Jersey residents, 87 percent said they expect to encounter more aggressive drivers during the holidays, and 90 percent said crowded parking lots will likely add to their stress level over the next few weeks.
"Anybody that lives or works in New Jersey ... we know that the roads are packed, and they're packed even greater during the holiday season," said Karen Murdock, Plymouth Rock's chief marketing officer.
And more than a third said they also tend to drive more aggressively during the holiday season compared to other times of the year.
Beyond traffic, at least half of respondents said holiday shopping, an overly-busy schedule and decorating the home would also bring on additional stress into the new year.
Office parties and hosting overnight guests made the stress list as well.
Broken down by generation, Millennials appear more stressed by the holidays than Gen Xers and Baby Boomers, the research shows.
How to cope
When asked what helps them relax when the holidays get too stressful, most respondents said they need to "take time for themselves" every once in a while.
Other coping measures include spending time with family, admiring holiday decorations and exercise.
While seasonal music was cited by a third of respondents as a stressor during the holidays, more than 40 percent said these tunes actually relieve their stress.
Using responses from the survey, Plymouth Rock Assurance put together a holiday playlist to calm the nerves. When possible, a New Jersey artist is listed with the song.
- Jingle Bells - Frank Sinatra
- Silent Night - Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons
- White Christmas - Connie Francis
- All I Want for Christmas is You
- O Holy Night - Dionne Warwick
- Santa Claus is Coming to Town - Bruce Springsteen
- Jingle Bell Rock
- Little Drummer Boy - Whitney Houston
- Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree
- Winter Wonderland - Count Basie Orchestra
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Contact reporter Dino Flammia at firstname.lastname@example.org.