Is It Possible To Avoid Stress During The Holidays?

BlogHer Original Post

Christmas.  Is it the most wonderful time of the year?  Or the most stressful time of the year?  Would it surprise you to know that 8 out of 10 people suffer some degree of stress during the holiday season?

It's true.

From 24-7 Press Release...

More than 80 percent of people suffer the 'holiday blues' at some point or another during the Christmas season although they won't admit it. The holidays is generally a time of increased activity, a few weeks when people are juggling work and numerous social obligations, decorating, shopping and wrapping, entertaining, traveling and trying to stick to a budget. This creates intensified physical and emotional stress and often leads to illnesses like colds and the flu, the 'holiday blues or depression.'

"The holidays also bring about unrealistic conceptualizations of the ideal family, evoking feelings that may heighten the tension or conflicts between family members," explains McGill University Health Centre psychologist, Dr. Michael Spevack.

We may not be able to avoid holiday stress altogether, but we can take steps to reduce or minimize it.  With that in mind, lets take a look at a few posts by women about overcoming holiday stress.

From Parenting Squad - 5 Ways to Beat Holiday Stress...

As my nine-year-old and I battled the hordes of shoppers at the discount mall on Black Friday, I pondered on this ironic reality: At what SHOULD be the “most wonderful time of the year,” most parents — moms in particular — are stressed out, angry, sleep-deprived, and downright nasty. At least I am (and please tell me I'm not the only one)!

From Connect With Your Teens Through Pop Culture and Technology - Does December Overwhelm You?

But of course, one of the big reasons we get stressed around the holidays is all in our heads. There is always that knowledge that friends and co-workers will be asking, "What did you do on New Years?" (or any other holiday). If your holidays aren't fantastic, they seem like let-downs, even though they are much better than the average day. Expectations are way too high this time of year.

From Amy Gates - Reducing Holiday Stress For Your Kids...

We often think of stress as something that only affects adults, but it can play a significant role in the lives of children as well, especially around the holidays.

There are a lot of changes to children's routines during the holidays, from visits from unfamiliar relatives to traveling, from an influx of sweets to over-scheduled days and late bedtimes. All of these things can take a toll on the wee ones.

From Stay At Home Moms Answer - Coping With Holiday Stress...

Most importantly, remember to enjoy your family over the next month and a half! The holidays usually provide a great opportunity for bonding and having fun together. Even if you feel like you have a million things to do and will never finish everything on time, make sure you remember what the most important thing is: enjoying those you love the most.

From Heart Sister - Help Your Heart By De-Stressing For The Holiday Season...

Ah, Christmas. . . Joy to the world, peace on earth, blahblahblah. For some, the Hallmark card fantasy of the perfect family Christmas is nigh impossible to achieve without the accompanying requisite levels of artery-clogging stress and anxiety by the time the New Year arrives. As Michele Meyer writes in Heart Healthy Living this month: “Whether your family resembles the Waltons or the Sopranos, few family gatherings are without potential for unspoken tensions.

“Both unresolved resentment and anxious anticipation of conflict can harm your heart by spiking anger and depression,” psychologist Dr. Susan Heitler told Meyer. “The higher the level of emotional arousal, the more stress on your heart.”

Are the holidays stressing you out?  Do you have any tips for other women stressing over Christmas?  Let us know in comments.

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Contributing Editor Catherine Morgan
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