Ask the Nurse

What are some tips for de-stressing the holidays?

The holidays are full of excitement, but they are also filled with stress as we struggle to find time to do everything. Expectations peak, which places more pressure on us and increases the likelihood that we’ll be disappointed.

The signs of stress include:

  • Feeling impatient
  • Worrying
  • Being cranky

Sleep and appetite disturbances can occur along with other physical complaints, such as:

  • Muscle tension
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Stomachaches

Children are not immune to this stress. Parents set the pace for their kids, so kids can share the sense of urgency.

To minimize holiday stress, simplify as much as possible. Let go of unrealistic expectations, particularly the need for perfection. And invest your energy wisely.

One of the best ways to slow the hectic pace is to take advantage of each opportunity you have to wait in line: in traffic, at malls, in the grocery store or doctor’s office. Rather than feeling irritated and looking at your watch or to-do list, embrace this time as a gift.

Use it to reflect on the meaning of the holiday. Challenge yourself to let go of your agenda and appreciate the moment. Observe those around you and strike up a conversation. You might just feel your holiday stress melt away!

All My Best,
Speaking of Women's Health Nurse

December 12, 2014 at 5:27am