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Tribal advocates keep up legal pressure for fair political maps; 12-member jury sworn in for Trump's historic criminal trial; the importance of healthcare decision planning; and a debt dilemma: poll shows how many people wrestle with college costs.

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Civil rights activists say a court ruling could end the right to protest in three southern states, a federal judge lets January 6th lawsuits proceed against former President Trump, and police arrest dozens at a Columbia University Gaza protest.

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Rural Wyoming needs more vocational teachers to sustain its workforce pipeline, Ohio environmental advocates fear harm from a proposal to open 40-thousand forest acres to fracking and rural communities build bike trail systems to promote nature, boost the economy.

Hazards of Holiday: Too Much Turkey - and Family?

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Tuesday, December 16, 2014   

RALEIGH, N.C. - While the holidays are a happy time for many, the stress associated with family obligations and dynamics can be a "lump of coal" in the Christmas stockings for some.

According to the American Psychological Association, fatigue and stress are the top sources of negative feelings during the holidays.

Lisa Ferentz, a clinical social worker and psychotherapist, says sometimes the best thing to do is simply not participate in a potentially stressful situation.

"Sometimes you have to give yourself permission to avoid family interactions that you know are going to be too painful, or that will set you up to be 'triggered' in some way," she says.

If you do feel compelled to see family or friends who can be a source of conflict, Ferentz recommends you limit the time you spend, bring a friend to act as a buffer, and use a cellphone as an excuse for a break.

According to Ferentz, sometimes the best relief is to break away from habits from the past by beginning a new tradition, or doing something for others.

"I encourage people to volunteer during this time of year," she says. "I think when you do things that kind of help you step outside of yourself and your own emotional upset, it gives you perspective about life. It also helps you reclaim a feeling of gratitude."

Ferentz says it's important to avoid self-destructive behaviors such as overeating or drinking too much. She recommends replacing them with exercise or meditation.


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