5 Tips to Simplify Holiday Stress

Is there anything better than this time of year? Pumpkin pie, Christmas lights and the ever-present stress of finding the right gift for everyone on our lists are enough to drive this girl crazy.

Well, I’m all about simplifying the holiday madness and I hope these tips help you too.

Church Fellowship Halls – Tired of traveling around, dragging the kids and dogs from place to place on Thanksgiving and Christmas day. If so, then reserve a local fellowship hall. My family has done this for the past three Thanksgivings and it has worked out splendidly for all. We invite all of our family on both sides and they are welcome to invite their family members also. The only rule: bring a couple of things to eat.

Potluck Dishes or Catering- If you’re tired of cooking for large crowds then have everyone bring a dish to your holiday meal. We always end up with way too much food to eat and everyone leaving satisfied. Perhaps your brood isn’t the cooking type and you’re afraid you’ll end up with nothing but ramen noodles to eat, then supply a catered meal. If you have a generous family, then they shouldn’t mind chipping in to cover the cost in lieu of cooking.

Smaller Christmas Trees – As much as I love a large, live Christmas tree, my wiser age has taught me that vacuuming up pine needles and sacrificing valuable space in my smaller living room is just not worth it in this household. Instead, we decorate two smaller, straighter trees that can be stored away in our back room with the decorations still intact. The week of Thanksgiving, I walked to my back room, picked up my two trees and carried them, already decorated, to their designated spots. Then I added touches around the room with figurines, bells, and quilted stockings. All was completed in about an hour and then I could sit back, admire the lights while sipping hot tea from my Christmas mug … stress-free.

Online Shopping – I’ve never been one to enjoy endless walking into multitudes of stores to find the right present for someone. I’m more of a “let’s do lunch” girl than a “let’s go shopping” girl. Therefore, on Black Friday, I spend the day in my pajamas with a good cup of coffee and order all my gifts online. I’ve found this allows me to really think about and purchase unique gifts that suit everyone better than settling for some bargain bin gift just to have something to wrap. Plus, I can usually find really good deals and the presents come with a box ready for wrapping.

Give back – Many people need others to help them have a good Christmas and when we help others our stress levels decrease. I’ve never regretted helping someone provide a meal or gifts for their family when they may not have the means to do so themselves. If fact, the joy that comes with giving to others is the best stress-free gift of all.

The joy that comes with giving to others is the best stress-free gift of all. Click To Tweet

I hope these tips will help us reduce the stress in our holiday season and provide more time to do what we truly love … spending time with the ones we love during the most wonderful time of the year.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and God’s blessings to all!

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Kayaking with the Redmons – Lower Green River

This was a fun float on a beautiful day. We put in at Fish Top Access and floated to Big Rock. We use open top boats so we were a little concerned if we’d make it through the Class II rapids without any issues. We did get wet, but had a blast! Check out the first part of our float.

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What Could Go Wrong – The Drunk Patient

For those of you who are getting to know me, I’ve been in the medical field for over twenty years and have had some interesting experiences.

Medical shows love to use imaging procedures in their episodes, but often times the scenes do not follow a realistic procedure protocol or the drama is escalated in over the top scenarios.

Everything from doctor’s running the MRI machine to using the wrong probes or technology in ultrasound, our television shows get the details wrong more often than right. Good thing most actors are easy on the eyes so we tend to forgive the script errors a bit more.

In an effort to provide positive change and help writers produce accurate material for their storylines, the What Could Go Wrong Series will reveal real-life cases witnessed by personnel in healthcare environments or realistic scenarios that could happen in a medical setting.

Real-Life Case

A man with a high alcohol level came into the x-ray department from the ER for multiple images of his arm and shoulder. He’d been in a bar fight.

Technologist positioned the man’s arm into a painful posture to get diagnostic images. The man cussed the radiographer. With his good arm, he hauled off and hit the healthcare professional, knocking her to the floor. She got back up, dusted herself off and dove back in, calling for help to restrain the patient.  

Unlike most TV shows where a slew of physicians rush in to aid the staff, our doctors remained in their radiology offices or in the ER department tending to other patient cases. If we waited for them to intervene, the attacker could inflict more damage.

In real life, other x-ray team members entered and donned lead shields. They held the man in position while another radiographer took the image from outside the room. Healthcare workers acted in the moment and moved as a team to keep the scenario under control.

If for some reason, a physician had been nearby or in the department, then they might help with the situation. However, most radiologists read from their offices and ER doctors remain in their workspace taking care of other trauma cases.

Real World Facts

Radiographers and other healthcare professionals must deal with verbal patient abuse. When things turn physical, we must stay calm and keep a clear head.

A 2017 study by the National Institute of Health determined that patient to worker assault in the healthcare setting was a serious occupational hazard with frontline staff being at a higher risk for Type II violence. (Arnetz, 2017)

These scenarios impact the employee’s wellbeing, decrease morale, and can cause depressions or even post-traumatic stress long after the incident is over.

New Storyline

Now, imagine a TV character with this storyline. A drunk patient attacks the healthcare worker, a nurse, doctor, technologist, etc. and the emotional and psychological stress impacts every area of their life for several months. Even after the patient sobers, the effects of what he’s done could provide issues in his life and or recovery.

Sounds like an episode or two with loads of drama yet realistic to real world healthcare.


Arnetz, Judith E, et al. “Preventing Patient-to-Worker Violence in Hospitals: Outcome of a Randomized Controlled Intervention.” J Occup Environ Med, Jan. 2017. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5214512/

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