Welcome to the holiday season!
While this season is meant to bring feelings of love and cheer, it’s also the cause of holiday stress for many. In fact, more than 80% of us find the holiday season to be ‘somewhat’ or ‘very’ stressful.
What Causes Holiday Stress?
Doing too much – All things in moderation, as the saying goes. The problem with the holiday season is that we often experience too much of a good thing. Too many activities, even if they are fun activities, can culminate in too much holiday stress and leave us feeling frazzled, rather than fulfilled.
Eating, Drinking and Spending too much – An overabundance of parties and gift-giving occasions lead many people to eat, drink and be merry — often to excess.
Too Much Togetherness – The holidays are a time when extended families tend to gather. While this can be a wonderful thing, even the most close-knit families can overdose on togetherness, making it hard for family members to maintain a healthy balance between bonding and alone time.
Not Enough Togetherness – For those who don’t have these family issues, loneliness can be just as much of a problem. As the world seems to be gathering with the family, those that rely more on friends for support can feel deserted and alone.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) – An often unrecognized problem that comes with the holiday season is actually a by-product of the seasons changing from fall to winter. As daylight diminishes and the weather causes many of us to spend more time indoors, many people are affected to some degree by a type of depression known as seasonal affective disorder.
The great thing about holiday stress is that it’s predictable. Unlike many other types of negative stress we encounter in life, we know when holiday stress will begin and end, and we can make plans to reduce the amount of stress we experience and the negative impact it has on us.
Here are some tips you can try to reduce holiday stress before it begins so that it remains at a positive level, rather than an overwhelming one:
Before you get overwhelmed by too many activities, it’s important to decide what traditions offer the most positive impact and eliminate superfluous activities. For example, if you usually become overwhelmed by a flurry of baking, caroling, shopping, sending cards, visiting relatives and other activities that leave you exhausted by January, you may want to rethink your priorities and pick a few favorite activities and really enjoy them.
If you are experiencing too much stress and depression during the holiday season, please contact GENPSYCH at 1-855-GENPSYCH or click here to request an appointment.