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Managing Holiday Stress

The holidays are a wonderful time of year to spend with friends and family.  It can also be a tremendous source of stress on us—much of which can unwittingly be passed on to our children.  Reasons include:

  • Unrealistic expectations of the holidays—it’s rarely the idea presented on Hallmark cards
  • Perceptions of not being or having enough
  • Loss of control—trying to be all things to all people, over-commitments that create feelings of resentment rather than gratitude

Combine this this on top of other sources of stress and it’s a perfect storm.  Americans report the following are significant sources of stress:

  • Money (64 percent)
  • Work (60 percent)
  • The economy (49 percent)
  • Family responsibilities (47 percent)
  • Personal health concerns (46 percent)

The effects are real.  Most reported symptoms of stress:

  • Irritable or angry (37 percent)
  • Feeling nervous or anxious (35 percent)
  • Having a lack of interest or motivation (34 percent)
  • Fatigue (32 percent)
  • Feeling overwhelmed (32 percent)
  • Depressed or sad (32 percent)

Effects of stress:

  • 3 out of 4 doctor’s visits are for stress-related ailments
  • Stress increases the risk of:
    • Heart disease by 40%
    • Heart attack by 25%
    • Stroke by 50%
  • 40% of stressed people overeat or eat unhealthy foods
  • 44% lose sleep every night
  • 26% of parents and 25% of millennials say they do not have emotional support
  • 42% of adults say they are not doing enough or are not sure whether they are doing enough to manage their stress
  • 20% percent say they are not engaging in an activity to help relieve or manage their stress

In short, the holidays offer the perfect opportunity to experience lots of stress. We can take care of ourselves by creating our own realistic image of what the holidays should be and staying focused on that. Home Health Care Boca Raton also advises to take care of your elderly relatives and do something pleasant for them. Finally, below is a simple formula for the holidays and all year long:

  1. Daily: Do one thing that feeds your soul
  2. Weekly: Do one thing you delight in
  3. Always: Have something on your calendar you are looking forward to.

Have a blessed holiday.

Sources:
http://apa.org/news/press/releases/stress/index.aspx
http://www.stress.org/turning-stressing-into-a-blessing-this-holiday-season/

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