In Partnership with the Southern Weekend

Get control of your holiday spending and reduce financial stress

Sponsored by Hawaii State FCU

The holidays are a time for fun with family and friends, but the truth is there is also a great deal of stress attached to this time of the year. The holiday cash-crunch, excessive eating and travel woes are just a few that can cause anxiety, health concerns and worry during a time that is supposed to be about happiness and family togetherness. HI Now host Kanoe Gibson found out from president and CEO of Hawaii State FCU, Andrew Rosen, that getting control of your holiday spending isn’t as hard as it might seem. Rosen is also co-chair of the 2019 American Heart Association Heart Ball and he brought along a cardiologist from Queen’s Heart Physician Practice, and American Heart Association, Hawaii Division board president, Dr. Kahealani Rivera, M.D., to give our viewers tips on how to reduce stress during the holidays.

Here are three simple ways to help cut back on financial stress during the holidays:
• Be realistic about your holiday budget, and stay within it. It helps by getting organized. Make a list of all of the gifts you expect to buy, and keep track of sales and coupons that you can take advantage of deals as they arise. This also applies to decor, party supplies and holiday food.
• Don’t add to your debt. This can be a huge source of financial stress. Even if you don’t pay it down during the holiday season, at least try to avoid digging a deeper hole. Put the credit card away.
• Take a few minutes for yourself. Sometimes, what you need is to take care of yourself. Do some physical activity, as Dr. Rivera mentioned, or take time for proper relaxation. A break can help keep you focused and help you avoid lashing out at those around you.

Here are some key things you can do to stay happy and healthy throughout the busy holiday season:
• Keep up healthy habits. Make a pact with yourself during the holidays. For example: “For the next three weeks I will move more and do something active every day, have a healthy breakfast and limit the sweets, and get at least seven hours of sleep each night.” If you don’t completely give up your healthy habits, you won’t feel like you have to start over once the holidays are in the rear-view.
• Beware of party perils. Special holiday events often serve up extra helpings of less-than-healthy foods. If you’re a guest, eat a healthy snack before you go to avoid overdoing it at the event. If you’re the host, challenge yourself to offer some delicious and healthier options using our recipes and cooking tips. Your guests will thank you.
• Stay active — even in the hustle and bustle of the season. A full holiday social calendar might lead to some missed workouts. Instead of beating yourself up about it, sprinkle some healthy activities into your daily routine. For example, if the weather isn’t too frightful, ride your bike to work or school. If dinner is going to be a feast, opt for a light lunch, then take a vigorous walk. And keep the family moving. When the kids are home from school, squeeze in some active chores and trips to the park.

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