Stress is a subject matter that concerns every individual because it affects both the young and the old alike. Stress is simply the body’s reaction to stimulus that can cause disequilibrium in our physical and mental functioning.
The irony of the December holiday season is such that amidst all the excitements of the festive season, lies somewhat latent stress provoking factors. This is because the activities associated with this season often brings about a lot of stress especially when we fail to take adequate measures to avoid it.
Before we go into ways to prevent/ manage stress this season, let’s pause and ask ourselves this question;
What causes stress in the holiday season?
Holiday stress is caused by so many factors. Here are some of them:
- UNPLANNED HOLIDAY: Many a times we start our holiday without having a plan of what we want to achieve in the season. We therefore find ourselves stumbling into every activity that suffices during the holiday season and soon we become overwhelmed and really stressed because of the inability to organize ourselves.
- MONEY:Without doubt, the holiday season comes with so many expenses. In a bid to make the holiday worthwhile, parents may find themselves worrying about how to give their children a memorable holiday, young people are also likely to worry about fashion trends and fun places to visit. In addition, some business owners may worry about settling outstanding debts. All these expectations need financing and could be quite challenging.
- CHANGE: Change can also bring about stress. Experiences such as the death of a loved one, divorce, marriage, childbirth, change in socio-economic status, new environment etc. can cause stress especially if it occurs during the holiday season. This is because some individuals tend to get anxious about change and might experience difficulty adjusting to new situations in their lives coupled with the potentially overwhelming nature of the festive season.
This holiday season is usually accompanied with lots of competition. Ranging from entertainers trying to hit the entertainment industry with their latest performances, companies trying to sell their products and different organizations trying to meet their target for the year. This could also cause stress for these group of people.
5. LIFESTYLE: During the holiday season, people tend to get lazy and are unable to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Negative holiday lifestyles such as poor diet, little or no exercise, inadequate sleep etc can lead to stress.
Quick tips for enjoying a stress-free holiday
#1 Plan Ahead: One sure way of managing stress is by planning ahead. Planning helps you focus on what is really important. Don’t just plan also STICK TO IT. “Not sticking to your plan is the same as not having a plan”. For more information on planning click Here.
#2 Avoid Comparison: Do not compare yourself with others or compare this holiday season with the ones you’ve had in the past. Be aware that every year is unique in its splendor and challenges. So quit comparing, be grateful, embrace the season and enjoy every bit of it!
#3 Don’t be stereotyped: Having a holiday season filled with the same routine year in year out can become so boring and invariably cause stress. Change your routine this year- take a trip, volunteer in a community work, join a group, give to charity, etc. Just Do Something Different!
#4 Relax!: Do not become so overwhelmed by the activities in the season that you forget to relax. A regular breathing exercise is really helpful in relaxing the nerves and controlling stress. Also, take timeout to be alone and just relax. Have enough sleep and be sure that you are not overworking yourself. Delegating some responsibilities might be of help too.
This is an excellent way to ease off stress. Meditation helps heal the body and mind therefore combating stress and enabling you achieve focus during the holiday season.
Your physical and mental well-being is not only important to you but also to your loved ones.
Staying healthy this season may be the best gift you can give to them!!
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