Don’t Let Holiday Stress Get You Down – Here’s How to Do It

According to the American Psychological Association, 80% of people experience stress during the holidays. Overall, women feel more stressed throughout the holiday season than men. Some of the primary contributors to holiday stress for both genders are a lack of time, a lack of money, and pressure related to giving and receiving presents. Sound familiar?

Understanding Holiday Stress

Before you can combat holiday stress, you need to understand what stress is. In simplest terms, stress is your body’s response to any demand. That definition comes from Hans Selye, M.D., and it includes any kind of demand – whether the demand is pleasant or unpleasant and whether or not the results are good or bad. The body’s response to demands is driven by hormones and the resulting stress can be positive or negative. Stress isn’t necessarily a problem until you experience it in excess.

During the holiday season, your body is required to respond to a variety of changing demands. These demands could come from work, family, friends, and a growing To Do list. Your mind and body are in overload, and when you’re feeling stressed, you could experience a long list of symptoms.

The symptoms of stress could be physical such as increased or decreased appetite, headaches, muscle pain, heartburn, rapid heartbeat without exercising, chest pain, nightmares, forgetfulness, diarrhea, and more. Symptoms could also be mental such as depression, moodiness, increased anger or frustration, and nervousness. The list goes on and on.

In other words, the effects of stress are far-reaching and affect not just your own physical and mental state but also the people around you.

Combatting Holiday Stress

Before you find yourself in stress overload during the holidays, follow the five tips below to reduce the factors that lead to excess stress at this time of year.

1. Make a Plan

Lists are your friend during the holidays. Make shopping lists, To Do lists, and schedules. Stick to them so you have an organized plan to get through the month without feeling overwhelmed at any specific time.

2. Choose Your Activities Wisely

It’s a month for events, activities, parties, get-togethers, and more. Don’t try to do it all. Instead, be selective about the activities you attend. If you’re concerned that you’ll offend someone by declining an invitation, offer to do something with them at a later date when you feel like you have more time.

3. Get Enough Rest

I know you’re busy, but your body still needs seven to eight hours of sleep per night. If you don’t get enough sleep, you’ll have trouble focusing and dealing with stressful situations when they arise.

4. Make Time for Yourself

You’ll feel even more stressed during the holidays if you don’t prioritize self-care. Take time to care for your mental and physical wellbeing throughout the month by including time for yourself in your daily schedule. This could be as simple as taking a walk, enjoying a peaceful bath, or reading a book.

5. Don’t Forget to Breathe

When you’re feeling stressed, stop and breathe. Take deep breaths and count backwards for 10 seconds. Tell yourself, “I choose to be in control,” and ask yourself, “Is this really a big deal?” Remember, you choose your thoughts and your reactions to demands. If you need to, contact a friend or family member and talk it out.

Enjoy the Holidays, Don’t Stress over Them

Stress management requires that you identify your stressors, seek tools and skills to prevent, eliminate and recover from stress when you experience it, and practice, practice, practice! Take small steps, and remember, the inner messages that you tell yourself are often the real sources of your stress rather than the situation and demands. Change your inner monologue, and you’ll be one step closer to combatting stress year-round, not just during the holiday season.

Working with a wellness coach is a great way to learn techniques to combat stress. Just choose your coach and schedule your consultation to get started.

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All information contained on this website are for informational and educational purposes only, and is not intended to be taken as medical or other health advice. You should always seek the advice of your doctor or a qualified medical professional. IN THE CASE OF A MEDICAL EMERGENCY OR SUICIDAL THOUGHTS, IMMEDIATELY CALL 911.

Victoria Craze

Victoria Craze is the co-founder of Wellbeing Coaches. She holds a coaching certification from Wellcoaches School and has coached more than 500 individuals on their journeys to achieving optimal wellbeing. Victoria began her career in the business field and spent three decades working in marketing before becoming trained and certified as a health, wellness, and life coach nearly a decade ago. Prior to founding Wellbeing Coaches, she worked with HMC HealthWorks where she developed new wellness coaching procedures and policies, created new training manuals, and managed a team of coaches. Today, she leads Wellbeing Coaches and continues to coach clients from around the world.

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