No sooner have we put away the Thanksgiving turkey and are frantically putting up the holiday decorations and finding the perfect presents we need to wrap for Christmas…. All while trying to plan & prepare for the relatives arrival (uh oh!).
The holidays bring constant motion for many, as well as feelings of being overwhelmed, depression and even loneliness for others.
- A number of factors, including unrealistic expectations, financial pressures, and too many commitments can cause stress and anxiety at holiday time.
- A holiday stress poll by the APA showed that more than eight out of 10 Americans anticipate stress during the holiday season.
- During holidays, stress and depression are higher than at any other time throughout the year.
Balancing the demands of shopping, parties, family obligations, and house guests may contribute to feelings of being overwhelmed and increased tension. People who do not view themselves as depressed may develop stress responses and may experience a number of physical and emotional symptoms including:
- excessive drinking
Are your expectations for the holidays realistic? Asking yourself this question is the first step to managing holiday stress.
Give the following tips a try to help minimize those holiday stressors and to avoid being a scrooge!
- Plan ahead! That goes for decorating, traveling, meals, and shopping!
- Ask people what they want instead of scouring the earth to find the perfect gifts.
- Shop early, when there is more of a selection and to avoid long lines.
- Stick to your gift budget – keep it simple or homemade.
- Simplify holiday commitments and traditions.
- Don’t abandon healthy habits! Incorporate regular physical activity into each day & continue to log your holiday meals
- Slow down! Take time for yourself – go for a walk, get a massage, or read a book to take a break from all the Holi-dazzle!
- Remember what’s important.
Mayo Clinic; http://mayoclinic.org
Cleveland Clinic; http://clevelandclinic.org
American Heart Association; http://www.heart.org