Health Topics

De-Stressing the Holiday Season

Handling Stress During the Holidays

The holiday season can be full of excitement, parties, shopping, religious observances and family gatherings. But inevitably, with this time of year comes stress.

People feel that there is not enough time to fit in everything. We often have higher expectations for this time of year. And that places even more pressure on us and increases the likelihood we may end up disappointed.

Signs of stress may include:

  • Feeling impatient
  • Worried
  • Cranky

You might have sleep or appetite disturbances, or 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, too, can feel the sense of urgency.

Minimize Holiday Stress

To help minimize holiday stress:

  1. Simplify as much as possible.
  2. Let go of unrealistic expectations, particularly the desire for perfection.
  3. And invest your energy wisely.
  4. One of the best ways to slow the hectic pace is to take advantage of opportunities to wait.

Opportunities to wait are even greater during this time of year. We have to wait in line in traffic, at malls, in the grocery store, in doctor's offices. Rather than feeling irritated and looking at your watch or to-do list, try embracing 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. You can even observe those around you and strike up a conversation. You might just feel your holiday stress melt away!