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Learning to Relax to Ward Off Holiday Stress

Some people think of the holiday season as tiring and stressful, and could sometimes make them lonely or depressed. It’s not new for us to break a leg when it comes to this time of season where everyone wants to make extra effort in dealing with their demands– parties, holiday shopping, cleaning, baking, caring for loved ones, and a whole list of household chores and holiday tasks. It may sound normal for some, but for some people, the holiday season can be such a stressful and tiring time of the year. Giving out healthy tips that could help lessen the holiday stress can make a huge difference in making everyone enjoy the holiday season.

There are three main factors that contribute to holiday stress and depression: relationships, physical demands, and finances. By understanding these factors, one could minimize the stress and depression that is usually experienced during the holidays.

It may be called the season of love but tension in relationships do happen even during the holidays. Mix it up with family conflict and the various needs and interests in conflict, people can find themselves weighed down by stress.

Of course, there is the hidden pressure of being happy during this time. But then again, if one has just lost their loved one, they might be feeling extra lonely, especially this time of year. Attending numerous parties, the stress of shopping, and preparation for the holidays can be extra taxing physically. Sleep deprivation and lack of exercise are most common during the Christmas season since a person’s time is eaten up by the endless errands one needs to do.

Holiday stress also entails the unhealthy effects of overeating. While the food preparations and heavy dinners with family and friends may bring lots of happiness, the physical effects of overconsumption of food are sure to follow.

Overspending is another cause of seasonal stress. When dealing with finances, people sometimes overdo and spend more on gifts that might be too expensive for them to begin with. Depression can occur whenever a person deals with high debts, leaving them feeling hopeless and sad.

Prevention is always better than cure. By preventing holiday stress even before it begins, one can be sure that they would not be able to experience such stress this time of year again. Realization is key in knowing one’s own feelings and understanding them. It is okay for us to feel lonely or sad, so go and cry your heart out, and don’t force yourself to be happy. Take time to understand your feelings and work your way through them. If feeling isolated or left out, seek support from family, friends, social or community services, and also religious groups. They can help lift up your spirits in time for the holidays.

Do not abandon healthy habits. Indulgence can be temporarily acceptable, but only as long as it does not add to one’s stress and guilt. Continue to get plenty of sleep and always schedule time for physical exercise to maintain good health without sacrificing on delicious holiday food. Also, take time to relax and breathe. Make some time for yourself, and find something to relax yourself, whether it be a walk in the park, a hot shower, or listening to relaxing music. A 15-minute break from everything can help clear one’s mind, slow down breathing, and restore an inner sense of peace.

These are just a few reminders on how to reduce stress and depression during the holidays. It is really up to you to experience a good holiday season without holiday stress.