That’s right, it’s that time of year again, even if the weather may not exactly feel like it. Many dread it, but most love it for the most part—the good feelings, the holiday cheer, and the shopping and excitement of giving gifts that make others’ faces light up. Regardless of what holiday you celebrate, holidays tend to cause stress when you add in financial considerations, crowds, gift buying, family visits, entertaining guests—sometimes for multiple days—and having to plan and cook big meals. While it’s a time for celebration and happiness, it’s not usually a time for relaxation, and this can cause large amounts of stress.
Effects of Holiday Stress
Holiday stress is really no different than other types of stress other than the fact that it is felt at almost the same time every year by people all over the world (especially in the United States). Because of the pressure we put on ourselves this time of year, the pressure to feel perfect might really affect your stress levels. The effects of this stress are:
- Back pain
- Weight gain
- Stress eating
- Weight loss
- Trouble sleeping
- Body aches
- Digestive troubles
- Panic attack
Everyone feels stress differently, but these are the most widely experienced symptoms. Please note: if your symptoms of stress come with more serious symptoms, such as chest pain, contact a doctor immediately.
Ways to Deal with Stress
- Take a break. Remember, this is a time for family and celebration, and not everything has to be perfect. Take time for yourself, have some eggnog, get in a good workout, watch some holiday movies, and try to actually enjoy it.
- Stick to a budget. If financial troubles have you stressed, set a budget that works and stick to it. With deal days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, finding great products at ridiculously good prices is definitely possible. Don’t feel like you need to get everything on their lists, either! We promise, they’ll appreciate any presents they do get! Try a family gift exchange or homemade gifts this year!
- Say no. You don’t have to attend every event, and you’re not expected to help everyone with what they have to do. Be realistic about your time, and make sure to schedule in some “me time” and time with the family!
- Get a massage. To help relax, de-stress, and manage the negative effects of stress, try getting a massage. This will help with any headaches or body aches that come with stress, plus with aromatherapy and the relaxation, you’ll feel better in no time.
If you need help de-stressing and none of the above work, consider consulting a professional for help managing your holiday stress (we know…family can be a big stress in itself). For more information on how massage can help you manage stress, contact us at Strongsville Massage.