By Jacqueline Quynh

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The holidays are already a stressful time of year, and the rising cases of COVID-19 once again not helping.

“For me time management is everything even the food, I order everything to not cause more stress because I know how it is,” Marialice Torres said.

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Christmas is a joyous production for Torres, except this year COVID once again has become a factor in her household.

“I’m thankful enough that I’m about to isolate somewhere else and leave my kids with my husband and my mom to help,” she said.

Torres found she tested positive for COVID a week and a half ago.

“When I first got the first diagnosis I actually went and got many tests, to test my daughters and to test myself to see when it would be safe to come back home, but even with the PCR it can stay in your body for a while.”

To top it all off, she’s expecting. It’s not easy, but Torres is managing to keep a positive outlook. For others, it’s more difficult. A survey of 2,000 people by Walgreens released in October showed 43% of Americans are more stressed this year, than last.

“We’re seeing COVID cases rise again so there has been more stress now, during this time especially as you’re trying to get things done, and you might start appearing with symptoms,” Leonor Carabeo, a Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida health educator said.

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Carabeo is also a registered nurse, she told CBS4, it’s easy to get overwhelmed this time of year, and wants people to keep in mind four tips, one is to eat healthy, and another, to check in with loved ones.

“Socialize during this time. Especially with COVID, we have to be apart from our family and friends we still want to stay connected even virtually,” Carabeo explained.

Other tips include managing spending, so they don’t become a bigger burden next year, and the fourth tip, gratitude.

“We want to show gratitude and express gratitude that research has shown that it really helps our mental wellness and wellbeing,” she said.

A list of tips for managing holiday stress can be found here.

Meanwhile, Torres told CBS 4, she’s using some of her time to buy her gifts online, and then resting as much as possible.

“Whatever is necessary to protect my family,” she added.

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It’s unclear if she’ll be back with home with her family for Christmas, but she’ll be joining a growing number of people who will get a COVID test before seeing her loved ones this holiday.

Jacqueline Quynh