Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Holiday Stress

I was going to write an entire post about dealing with stress during the holiday season, but then I saw exactly what I was going to say printed in my church bulletin.

Dealing With Holiday Stress
Levels of stress increase during the holiday season, as people tend to overextend themselves and commit to doing more than they possibly can in the limited time they have. This season is stressful even if what people commit themselves to are events that should be enjoyable, such as attending parties and visiting family.

The causes of stress are plentiful -- but with a little planning and some tips from the South Dakota Cooperative Extension Service, the holidays can be much less stressful.

-- Don't commit to more than you can handle. If there is not enough time in which to do a project, decide not to do it. Make sure to balance your obligations with things that you want to do. Plan your time and stick to your plan.

-- Maintain your health. Monitor what you eat and drink, make sure you are getting enough sleep and stick to your exercise program.

-- When shopping, stay within your budget so that gift giving does not become another source of stress. Plan in advance when and how you will do your shopping. This way, you are less likely to be overwhelmed.

-- Acknowledge feelings of grief and loss if they exist. If you are separated from family or friends or have suffered a loss in your family, realize that the feeling of loss in normal. Allow yourself to express this grief and emotions.

-- Avoid unrealistic expectations. Don't be so critical of yourself or others if things fail to go as planned. Remember, too, the magic of the holidays will probably not solve your personal or family problems.

One more note from me. Remember to keep your focus on the real meaning of the season and you're bound to have a happier holiday.


Regina said...

Good information. Holiday time has very high rates and instances of depression and suicide.

Lori said...

All wonderful ideas. Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the tips. What some great points.

diana said...

good advice. i especially like the last one about having unrealistic expectations. it's so easy to find that we do have certain expectations and our joy is stolen when those expectations aren't realized. give yourself - and everyone else - a break. i think one will be much happier that way.

thanks for sharing and reminding us there is a reason for the season.

Rick said...

I have a cartoon that I drew and just posted on my blog that illustrates holiday stress. Check it out when you've got some time.