CODA | December 2016

Chris Pinelo


We demand so much of ourselves, especially around the holidays. Between the festivities, gift purchasing, entertaining and creating those perfect moments for our family and friends, it’s easy to become overwhelmed, especially knowing these activities are piled on top of our regular, non-holiday obligations.

According to the Mayo Clinic, “stress and depression can ruin your holidays and hurt your health,” and according to the Cleveland Clinic, “planning for the holidays can leave us feeling impatient, cranky, and—in some cases—depressed. When the realities of day-to-day life conflict with our efforts to make the holiday season perfect, stress results.” Their prescription? At least in part, medical professionals recommend people simply be more realistic about what is achievable, and the Doctors Health Press goes further with a “cure.” An editorial published a couple of years ago states, “Holiday music is hard to resist. It brings people together, rekindles memories, and creates an energy and warmth that really captures the spirit of the season. A couple more bonuses: according to a number of studies…singing and listening to music can boost immune system strength, while reducing anxiety and stress levels, and boosting mood.”

I’ve written about this before, but it bears repeating. Experiences like coming to a concert with friends and loved ones bring people more joy—more happiness than buying and generally having “stuff.” That same editorial from Doctors Health Press talks about how listening to music, attending religious services, singing, or experiencing a concert are all “great ways to relieve stress, improve your immune system, bond with others, and really enjoy the season.”

So here we are in the midst of the busy holiday season. We’ve made time to experience a wonderful concert with special people in our lives. Maybe we’ve gotten dressed up and built a whole evening or afternoon of activities around this experience. I bet you look fantastic!

A world-class orchestra is about to perform on that stage, so sit back. Take a deep breath. Leave all that stress outside the auditorium door and immerse yourself in joyful music. 

From all of us at the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and the Cincinnati Pops, best wishes for a wonderful, peaceful holiday season!