by Debra Kissen, PhD, MHSA

Dr. Debra Kissen is the Clinical Director of the Light on Anxiety Treatment Center of Chicago.  

Dr. Kissen specializes in CBT based treatment to children, adolescents and adults with a focus on anxiety and stress-related disorders, including OCD, PTSD, panic disorder, agoraphobia, social anxiety disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, specific phobias, separation anxiety disorder, compulsive skin picking, trichotillomania and other Body Focused Repetitive Behaviors (BFRBs). Dr. Debra Kissen applies the principles of evidence-based treatments while at the same time treating the whole person, with deep respect for the human spirit and the challenges we all face on our journey through life.

Dr. Kissen is a Clinical Fellow at the Anxiety Depression Association of America (ADAA) and is a Co-Chair of ADAA's Public Education Committee.  

Three Simple Tips to Minimize Holiday Stress: 

1. Allow values vs "shoulds" to guide your behaviors. Show up for events and tasks that are important to you, not because they are expections others or you have put upon yourself. 

2. Slow down. Life is short and by scurrying around to complete checklist tasks, you are simply a mouse in a wheel. Instead be mindful of each moment and find one thing you can appreciate about the moment you are in. 

3. Remind yourself of the essence of the holiday season is connections and love. You can honor this spirit by volunteering at a nursing home or joining a community group or doing any activity that takes you out of "I" perspective and allows you to feel part of something bigger than yourself. 

Other resources:

Reducing Your Holiday Stress During The Most Wonderful Time of the Year
Five Tips to Beat Holiday Stress