• By Jason Howland

Mayo Clinic Minute: How to find more holiday joy

December 13, 2017

The holidays are a time to reflect by spending quality time with family, friends and loved ones. But are you also feeling overwhelmed by a calendar that’s overbooked with shopping, parties and other holiday commitments?

“You shouldn’t have to connect every dot,” says Dr. Amit Sood, a Mayo Clinic resiliency expert. “Holidays should be about recovering from weeks and months of stress ─ not about packing in so much stuff.”

In this Mayo Clinic Minute, Dr. Sood offers some tips to make the holiday season wonderful again.

Watch: The Mayo Clinic Minute

Journalists: Broadcast-quality video pkg (0:59) is in the downloads. Read the script.

'Tis the season to be busy. If too much hustle and bustle has you stressed, this Mayo Clinic doctor says: Get some sleep.

"In my order of priorities, sleep is like No. 1, No.2, No.3, No.4," says Dr. Sood, author of The Mayo Clinic Guide to Stress-Free Living. He says a little shut-eye will go a long way.

"Most of the patients I see, they're behind on sleep. So if you can catch extra time, take a one-hour nap."

Then, Dr. Sood says, take a pen to your to-do list.

"Make a 'not-to-do list' — not a to-do list. Because I have no doubt in my mind you're doing stuff that you don't need to do, which is crowding your life."

Dr. Sood says a "not-to-do list" creates the gift of time in your holiday schedule — time for experiences and for being grateful.

"Between Thanksgiving and New Year, that is the time when gratitude is in the air. This is a time of reflection. This is a time of rejuvenation. And that's what we should focus on."

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