Managing Stress During the Holidays

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Season’s Greetings! The hustle and bustle of the holiday season can make you feel overwhelmed. For many, it’s an exciting time of the year. Especially the joy that comes from seeing family and friends. However, all that, traveling, shopping, planning and preparation can bring on a lot of stress. During this time most people focus on taking care of others, which leaves little time to practice self-care. Practicing self-care is important because it can help maintain optimal health and wellness.

Stress from the hustle and bustle of the holidays and everyday life responsibilities can have lasting effects on your health. The impact from stress will vary from person to person. Everyone reacts to stress in a different way. Your reaction to stress can lead to poor health behaviors which are linked to increased risk for heart disease and stroke. These include:

  • Smoking
  • Overeating
  • Lack of Physical activity
  • Poor diet
  • Weight gain
  • Not adhering to medication regimen as prescribed

It’s important to remember to take some “me time” to help reduce stress or burnout. Stress can wreak havoc on your sleep, cause headache, back strain and make you feel cranky or forgetful. This holiday put the “me” in merry and focus on practicing self-care to help you enjoy a cheerful holiday season. Here a few tips that can lower the risk of burnout:

  • Schedule time to engage in self-care activities. Set routine reminders to remind yourself to focus on you.
  • Engage in deep breathing exercises or activities that help you relax. Enjoy soothing music or mediation.
  • Monitor your stress level. Tune into the emotions you are experiencing. Call “time outs” for moments you feel negative emotions. Take time to write down your feelings in a journal. Take note of the situation, activity, and people when you feel stressed. Make adjustments as needed to recenter positive emotions.
  • Create a list of activities that help you relax. Go for a walk, engage in a few minutes of yoga, watch your favorite tv show or movie, or take a power nap to help refuel your energy.
  • Be present around the presents. Practice mindfulness and meditation. Get in tune with your environment. Enjoy the smells, sounds, and sights of the holidays. Develop a plan to complete tasks around the holiday season. Remember, it’s okay to ask others for help.

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