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Managing Stress During the Holiday Season

Managing Stress During the Holiday Season

November 30, 2015

National stress free family holidays month photo 2

‘Tis the season… the holiday season that is! And while the holiday season is a time of joy with family and friends, it can also be an extremely stressful time. Between parties, family get-togethers, special events, and shopping for the “perfect” gifts, you can end up feeling drained, concerned about finances (may have spent too much on those “perfect” gifts), and behind on your day to day tasks. Loss of time and energy are two factors in causing stress during the holiday season. As a result, December has been named the “National Stress-Free Family Holidays Month” in order to increase awareness of the problems that stress and anxiety can cause.

Some of the feelings associated with stress are frustration, sadness, loneliness, anger, and anxiety. These feelings can also give rise to various symptoms such as headaches, upset stomach, low energy, and trouble sleeping. Many may think that the holiday season brings nothing but positive feelings and that any negative feelings should simply be overlooked, but that’s not the case.  The holiday season can sometimes lead to some of these negative feelings as well, and they should not be ignored. It’s important to recognize any feelings or symptoms because prolonged periods of stress can contribute to many illnesses, including heart disease, high blood pressure, and strokes among others.

Common causes of holiday stress:

  • Additional events and activities added to your already busy schedule can be a major cause of stress. Getting your house ready for a family get-together, shopping for gifts, or planning to travel to visit friends and family takes time away from your usual obligations and daily routine. As we all know, there is just not enough time in a day!
  • Another major cause of stress and anxiety is not getting enough sleep. Juggling all of the added events and activities during the holidays will leave you with no time to rest.
  • People tend to spend the most money during the holidays. Whether it’s going out for dinner, shopping for gifts, or travel expenses, spending more money than usual can cause financial strain which, of course, leads to stress and anxiety.

Although it is easy to become stressed during the holiday season, there are plenty of ways to manage the stress.

Holiday stress management:

  • Make a list. Write down everything that needs to get done and set out a time for each task. It will organize your day and you may even find extra time to rest!
  • Ask for help. Don’t feel the need to have to do everything yourself. Have others pitch in by bringing food over instead of cooking a whole meal yourself. Maybe even ask a friend or family member to go with you and help shopping so that it can be a fun task rather than a stressful one.
  • Prioritize your events. Since you can’t be in two places at once, choose to attend only the events that have the most importance to you. It’s okay to say “no” sometimes.

Also, remember these tips can be used all year round. Let’s do our best to make this holiday season as stress free as possible and focus our time and energy on the true meanings of the holiday season.

From the Benefit Funds family to yours, we want to wish you and your families a happy, healthy, and safe holiday season!