5 Tips to Tame Your Holiday Stress
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Every year, you make that trek to the attic or storage closet to pull out holiday decorations. The winter brings a lot of seasonal celebrations reflecting different religious and cultural traditions. These often include family gatherings, gift-giving, and a lot of festive food. However, they also cause a lot of holiday stress, which can also lead to gynecological problems.
At Associates in Women’s Healthcare, we care about your whole being, not just your gynecological health. We recognize that stress can have an impact on multiple systems in your body, and mental health is an important part of your complete wellness. If you have any concerns that stress may be affecting your overall health, we encourage you to contact us for an appointment.
This year, we want you to be able to enjoy your festivities without being burdened with holiday stress. Therefore, we’ve compiled five useful tips to help you look forward to the season instead of dreading it.
5 Tips to Tame Holiday Stress
1. Make Plans and Set Priorities
When there are so many things to do, it is easy to get caught up in holiday stress. That’s why we recommend that you prioritize your most important activities. By planning ahead, you can avoid the last-minute rush that can produce anxiety. It’s also important that you set realistic goals. Not every holiday is “perfect.” (In fact, we’re not sure there is such a thing as a “perfect” holiday!)
By keeping realistic goals, you can keep your mind on what is most important. For some that is the religious significance of the season, for others, it’s the cherished time with family and friends.
2. Set a Budget
In the excitement of the winter holidays, it’s easy to get carried away. We recommend setting a budget for gifts and festivities. Taking a few moments to create a monetary plan will go a long way toward alleviating financial stress when the holiday is over.
3. Take Care of Yourself
Self-care isn’t selfish! In fact, it’s vital to recharge your batteries and face the world refreshed. After all, how can you take care of others if you don’t take care of yourself?
This doesn’t have to mean an expensive spa day. Even something as simple as a long bubble bath, a relaxing day with a good book, meditation, or a neighborhood walk can make a world of difference.
Don’t try to do everything yourself. It’s more than okay to ask for help, especially during this busy time of year. It’s also a good idea to practice saying “no.” Don’t agree to additional duties or time commitments that will make you anxious or even more stressed.
5. Maintain Your Healthy Habits
This isn’t the time to skip that exercise or yoga class—and while all the delectable holiday snacks are tempting, it’s important to practice moderation. Keep up your healthy habits like regular physical activity, proper nutrition, and sufficient sleep.
Gain a Deeper Understanding of Holiday Stress
To help you better understand the tools you need to ease your anxiety, we’ll take a closer look at why the holidays tend to stress us out.
What Is Holiday Stress?
This is a unique form of stress. Holidays bring their own set of pressures, demands, and timetables that can cause emotional, mental, and physical anxiety. Part of the problem is the pressure to create a spectacular holiday experience in spite of financial strain or other burdens. It can cause many to dread the holiday season or become so frazzled that they fail to enjoy it.
Why Am I So Stressed During the Holidays?
Several issues seem to come into sharper focus on the holidays. These include:
- Heightened expectations
- Family dynamics
- Financial pressure
- New routines
- More demands on time and energy
- Exhausted coping mechanisms
What Is The Most Stressful Holiday?
Because there are so many cultural traditions, the answer can vary for individuals, depending upon what events they celebrate. However, the Christmas holidays are often seen as excessively stressful not only due to their commercialization but also the fact that it is packed with social obligations, high expectations, and financial pressure.
How Do You Deal With Holiday Stress?
In addition to our five tips listed above, we also recommend:
- Setting boundaries: It’s okay if you don’t meet everyone’s expectations.
- Practicing mindfulness: Yoga and meditation can be particularly helpful.
- Connecting with others: Don’t withdraw. Spend time with those who lift you up. Don’t be afraid to share your feelings with a trusted friend.
- Seeking professional help: If your stress and anxiety have lingered and are to the point that you’re unable to complete everyday tasks, it may be time to see professional help from a licensed therapist.
Signs of Burnout
Be aware to recognize the signs of excessive stress before they make your holidays miserable. These signs can include:
- Inability to sleep (or sleeping too much)
- Extensive fatigue
Associates in Women’s Healthcare Wants You to Manage Stress Year Round
There’s no escaping stress. It’s woven into the very fabric of our society. However, there are steps you can take to minimize its effect on your life. Stress can not only lead to problems with your general health, but it can affect you gynecologically as well. Excessive anxiety can cause irregular periods, fertility challenges, and other issues.