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Understanding and Coping with Holiday Stress

Understanding and Coping with Holiday Stress

Oct 17, 2021

The holiday season has arrived, and in tow, it brings all of the added stress with it. Though many people view it as one large jumble of stress, the truth is there are multiple layers and factors that can be managed individually to reduce the overall toll these stressors may take. There may be those lucky few who merely go with the flow and have an effortless appearance of calm, a staggering amount of the population find that holiday stress can weigh them down, make them irritable, and in some cases even have dramatic effects on their holiday celebrations. By peeling back each layer of tension, you may find a route to the calm you've been hoping for.

Understanding Holiday Stress

Many look forward to making those special holiday memories with their family and spending time with those they don’t often entertain. However, according to a survey by the Clarity Clinic, 45% of Americans would avoid the holidays altogether. The physical and mental weight of managing all of those expectations can begin to present itself in several different ways.

Physical Holiday Stress Symptoms

  • - Irritability
  • - Performing poorly at work
  • - Fatigue
  • - Headaches
  • - Insomnia
  • - Changes in appetite
  • - Lack of focus
  • - Aching muscles and joints
  • - Overeating
  • - Digestive issues

Even though many people suffer from these physical symptoms, they do not recognize them as red flags or signifiers of a build-up of stress. When these signs slip through the cracks, they can begin to manifest in a more noticeable way.

Mental Holiday Stress Symptoms

  • - Panic Attacks
  • - Rage
  • - Mania
  • - Depression
  • Accelerated Addiction (increased alcohol/drug use)

So now that the physical and mental aspects of the holiday stress condition have been addressed, it’s easier to build a plan to combat it on all fronts. Even isolating one symptom and treating it accordingly can relieve some of that pressure. There is a litany of ways to handle each of these, and though many suggestions such as rest, exercise, and a healthy diet are commonly lobbed at the general public by most healthcare providers, there are a few more tips to incorporate that may assist in the attempt.

Reducing Holiday Stress

  • - Be realistic about expectations
  • - Forget the drama (even if only for the day)
  • - Stick to a budget
  • - Make solid plans and adhere to them
  • - Get adequate rest
  • - Exercise Regularly
  • - Don’t forget to pause when tension rises

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Once you’ve given some of these suggestions a try, we hope you will see a significant enough decrease in holiday stress that some joy may be taken from this busy season we all share. Allowing these methods to drift into daily or weekly routines could show long-term decreases in stress and tension as well, so formulate the game plan that works best for you and take a shot at a reduced stress holiday season.