December 10: Tips to Decrease Holiday Stress with Rose Melendez
The holidays are a time of joy and celebration, but it is not uncommon for people to feel more down or stressed-out than usual during this time of year. While the closeness of family and the giving spirit may generate excitement for most of us, it may cause tension or sadness in others. A study by Mental Health America cites finances, memories of lost love ones, and an overabundance of activities as the top three holiday stressors.Furthermore, the holiday season tends to intensify, rather than reduce the stress levels of individuals who experience high stress throughout the year. An American Psychological Association survey finds that the added responsibilities often assumed by women during holiday time increases women’s holiday stress levels more substantially than men’s.
The connection between emotional well-being and health is well established. An abundance of medical research indicates a correlation between high personal stress and the increased incidence of mental and physical health issues. There are many effective strategies to manage stress during the holidays and year-round.
To make this holiday season more joyful and less stressful, consider the following tips:
- Manage your expectations of the holiday season and let yourself experience your true range of feelings. Not everything about the holidays must be perfect, and it’s okay if you are not happy all of the time. Just knowing this can reduce pressure on you and improve your mood.
- Talk with your family about finances and create a reasonable budget. This is crucial in today’s challenging financial climate. Consider home-made or other creative gift options.
- Do something kind for someone else. Volunteer work or acts of charity can be true expressions of holiday giving that benefit both the giver and the recipient.
- Save some time for yourself! Maintain as much of your routine as possible, incorporating exercise and other activities related to self-care.
- Seek additional emotional support if necessary: Family doctors or clergy can provide valuable assistance and resources to help manage stress.
Adventist HealthCare Behavioral Health & Wellness Services provides a wide-ranging spectrum of services and treatment options for children, adolescents, adults and seniors. Services are provided in a variety of settings including hospital-based programs, residential treatment centers, school programs, residential group homes, outpatient services and community-based programs.
If you or loved one are in need of mental health support, please call 866-436-0808 or request a FREE Behavioral Health Consultation online at www.AdventistBehavioralHealth.com