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From sending holiday cards to buying and wrapping holiday gifts ... the to-do list is endless in December. So while it might very well be "the most wonderful time of the year," for some, it's also the most stressful time of the year. In this Forever 39 episode, we discuss all things stress — who's got it and what you can do to find some relief!

The added stress thanks to the holidays is especially a problem for women, who report greater levels of it, according to a 2006 national survey by the American Psychological Association of nearly 800 adults.

According to the survey, 44 percent of women report an increase of stress during the holidays. That compares to only 31 percent of men. Forty-four percent of those surveyed said their stress levels remain the same.

And while there's many reasons why people experience increased stress in December, three things were reported by those polled as the main drivers for their added stress: lack of time (67 percent), lack of money (62 percent), and the commercialism of the season (53 percent).

Once again women feel the pressure during the holidays more than men. Sixty-nine percent of women reported feeling stressed by lack of money, compared to only 55 percent of men. Lack of time seems to be an issue for everyone, at least when looking at the numbers in the survey. Sixty-nine percent of women indicated lack of time caused them stress during the holidays, while 63 percent of men said the same.

So while it's a given that the majority of people are going to feel some type of increased stress due to the holidays, there are ways to manage it. Psychological Today lists 10 tools people can employ to get reduce stress during the holidays. Perhaps one of them will work for you.

According to the American Psychological Association survey, some of the most popular stress relief activities that people engage in include:

  • Listening to music
  • Prayer
  • Reading
  • Attending workship
  • Exercising, yoga or meditation
  • Eating or drinking alcohol

What's your stress relief during the holidays? Let us know by emailing us at

Also from this week's Forever 39 podcast — Why more partners are choosing to live apart? PLUS: Is revealing your salary to your coworkers a do or don't? Click on the podcast player above to hear the entire episode.

Share your thoughts on all of them below, on Twitter, on Facebook or at

— Annette and Megan, Forever 39

Join us for next week’s podcast when we chat why making friends in your 30s and 40s is so hard, our favorite Christmas movies, and how frequently you should be washing common household items.

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