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Managing Holiday Stress

Warm Wishes for a Happy Holiday Season!

 

The holidays are a wonderful time of year. It is a time for quality connection with family, friends and loved ones. However, even good stress is still perceived by the body as "stress." Here are some facts as reported by the American Psychological Association:

  • Stress around the holidays is disproportionately felt by women. Women are more likely to feel that stress increases around the holidays (44 percent of women report an increase of stress during the holidays versus 31 percent of men).  For women, stress may be a function of greater family responsibilities during the holidays. Women say they have a harder time relaxing during the holidays and are more likely to take on all of the tasks associated with family celebrations, such as shopping, cooking, and cleaning.

  • Emotions are strong during the holidays: people in the United States report feelings of love, happiness, and high spirits. The most important aspects of the holidays are the opportunities to connect or reconnect with friends and family.

  • Workplace stress does not disappear. Although time off work is an important highlight of the holidays, people worry about getting enough time off of work and that work responsibilities might interfere with time spent with the family.

  • Holiday stress has an impact on lower middle income individuals. This group feels the weight of stress from work plus the seasonal rush to find time to get everything done. Moreover, money worries are heightened by the commercialism of the season and the pressure to spend a lot of money.

  • For most people, the New Year offers hope and a reminder that there is always opportunity for change and self-improvement. In the New Year, most individuals would like to improve their health or lose weight, get their finances in order, or improve their relationships with family or a significant other.

The holidays can be a busy time, where shopping, cooking, and party planning become a priority. Remember to take some time for self-care, mindful gratitude and relaxation. Allow yourself some extra sleep, a healthy meal and some quiet time. Remember, that your health, to include your mental health, also deserve space on your priority list. By giving to yourself first, you will have more to give to others. 

 

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