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PHOENIX -- ‘Tis the season to be jolly and sometimes stressed.

All the shopping, cooking and entertaining can be draining. Medical social worker Caren Marshall hears all about it.

"Often in January, we'll have people come into our clinic just exhausted and maybe having signs of pain and arthritis and depression exaggerated and so much more evident in January," she said,

Marshall and the physicians at Renovare Wellness by Design are offering a free workshop to help people thrive, rather than survive, the holiday season. Marshall has picked up plenty of tips working there, including sometimes putting herself first.

"If I keep myself really healthy and happy and my mood balanced, then I know everyone around me is going to enjoy the day more, including myself."

For some people, Marshall said it may be a good idea to start a new holiday tradition.

"Perhaps looking at saying ‘no' and realizing that it's actually going to help a lot of people in the long run and not yourself because you might be teaching your children how to approach the holidays in a more sensible way," she said. "Or you might turn out to be more relaxed yourself."

Getting enough rest, exercise and eating healthfully are also key. Marshall said she serves a lot of protein and vegetables which keep guests feeling active rather than sluggish.

Renovare Wellness is offering a free class on managing stress and energy on Tuesday from 6 to 7 p.m. The center is located at at 18969 N. 83rd Ave., Suite 1, in Peoria.

Christina Estes, Reporter

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