Tis the season for stress

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Christmas is a magical time of the year for many of us, however it may also be the time of year when our body and mind is put under extra pressure and stress. In fact for many people the Christmas season presents an additional layer of stress to our already busy lives.

Research shows that holiday stress differs from other stressors we may experience during the year, women in particular often feel the pressure of the Christmas holiday celebration, in particular the tasks related to shopping, preparing meals and decorating the home.

The commercialism and hype of the season heightens the pressure to spend money on more and more expensive gifts as we try to execute the perfect holiday season for those around us.

Emotions may also run high during the Christmas season as we look forward to connecting or reconnecting with friends and loved ones. For many people however estrangement, family strife, and bereavement during this festive time can magnify the loneliness and sorrow they may be feeling.

Separation from children, the first Christmas after the death of a loved one or a recent relationship break-up can mean that this Christmas things will be different and maybe even painful.

Life is not perfect and is often unpredictable, be realistic change is part of our very nature, welcome or not. Change will occur, like it or not; we cannot control it. In the face of this change, however, we do have the ability to shape our response.

Tips to prevent holiday stress and depression.

  • Identify and be grateful for the genuinely good and helpful aspects of your life.
  • Give yourself time to adjust to changes.
  • Seek out support, talk to someone you trust.
  • When you’re struggling with a life change, writing down your feelings can be very helpful.
  • Look for opportunities to increase your sense of control in small ways.
  • Avoid comfort eating and alcohol as a stress reliever.
  • Aim for a brisk half an hour walk each day, this will decrease anxiety and aid sleep.
  • Organise your time don’t over commit yourself, take timeout when you are feeling overwhelmed or stressed out.
  • Take care of yourself, it is okay to say no, do less enjoy more.
  • Start some new traditions, e.g. if family gatherings are stressful consider eating out.

 

This article was supplied by the Perth Clinic.

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