Survey Reveals Women's Stress Levels During Holidays

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With thoughts of shopping lists, holiday menus and decorating looming in our minds, it's no wonder it becomes challenging to get through the holiday season stress-free. According to an Opinion Research Survey conducted in October 2007 -- almost half the women polled reported experiencing increased stress during the holidays.

Kathryn Sansone, the one Oprah calls the "model of all motherhood," says that women tend to be overachievers when it comes to raising kids and managing careers. When holiday preparations are added to the mix, many women turn to unhealthy coping skills. Sansone has teamed up with Weight Watchers to provide a realistic, practical and inspiring approach to the holidays.

-- Start Getting Organized! Create a file of gift recipients. From teachers and hairdressers to friends and family, file each recipient into a category and add what gift they received this year. Next year, it will facilitate the gift-buying and gift-giving process and offer gift ideas you may have forgotten.

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-- Buy Your Favorite Item ... Times Twelve. Pick one item that you've come across that year that you really liked and buy it for all those special people on your list. It may be a new lotion or beautiful jeweled wine glasses filled with dried cranberries and pretzel rods dipped in chocolate, tied with cellophane wrap and a festive bow. "I call it my own little 'Kathryn's Favorite' for the year," says Sansone. "It makes gift giving so much so much easier than trying to think of individual gifts for everyone."

-- Selecting Secret Santa Gifts. During the holidays most of us are asked to be a Secret Santa to someone. This year, give a gift that everyone loves -- coffee and chocolates. Buy a creative mug that speaks to the person's taste, a gift card to a local coffee shop and some deliciously crunchy Weight Watchers chocolate candies.

-- Shop From Friends. Buy gifts from friends and family who have small businesses. If you have a cousin who makes jewelry or a friend who does monogram soap, order a variety of gifts from them. You'll feel good about giving them the business and you'll treat your friends and family to a unique gift.

-- In the Morning -- Don't Forget to "Fare" Well. According to research from the National Weight Control Registry (NWCR), eating breakfast on a regular basis was one of the key strategies used by people maintaining weight loss. Eating breakfast may help to reduce hunger later in the day which can lead to overeating, and it can also provide key nutrients. One option for a delicious, on-the-go sensible breakfast is the new Weight Watchers Caramel Apple muffins with skim milk.

-- Scheduling is Key. With so many events this time of year, it may be wise to make a separate calendar just for the holidays. For moms with kids, be sure to line up your babysitters early since their calendars are full too during the season.

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