Between the travel, the tradition, the food, and the extensive family time, the holiday season can make anyone’s stress levels rise. Year after year, people tend to drag themselves through the holidays, cherishing the end of the festivities almost as much as the start. In my practice, I have seen firsthand how stress can cause problems in every area of one’s life.
Beyond mental and emotional turmoil, stress also causes health problems for your body. In high-stress situations, the body is put into its natural “fight or flight” state. This can cause many of the problems associated with stress such as high blood pressure, insomnia, and digestive issues.
Physical Symptoms of Too Much Stress
- Change in Appetite/
- Weight Change
- Increased Drug, Alcohol,
- Tobacco Use
- Digestive Upsets
- Pounding Heart
- Frequent Colds
- Muscle Aches
- Teeth Grinding
Click here to learn more about how anxiety and stress effect your body.
Clearly, reducing stress is a necessity, especially during the holidays. But…
How Do You Handle Stress?
One of the most important things you can do to reduce stress any time of year is to take care of your body. This includes eating right, despite that delicious but deadly holiday spread, and getting exercise.
When those stressful feelings start to wash over you, try not to fight them. Avoid overeating and heavy drinking, and accept how you’re feeling, take a deep breath, and let those stressful feelings go. It’s not always easy, but it’s definitely worth it.
Financial strain can be a source of stress for adults during the holidays. Developing a budget for the season and sticking to it is one excellent way to prevent unnecessary stress.
Most importantly, do the things you enjoy. The holidays are supposed to be your time to enjoy life, friends, and family. Making the best out of every minute is the surest way to avoid being overstressed.
Click here to see tips on holiday stress management from the Cleveland Clinic
Even more holiday stress management techniques from the Mayo Clinic
As you prepare for this upcoming holiday season, remember that stress in not inevitable. Take the time to monitor your stress levels through the holidays, and take care of yourself. Your mind and body will surely thank you.
Best wishes for happy and healthy holidays,