Please! Not Another Holiday Stress Article

The holidays are here, and yes, here’s another article about dealing with all the possible stresses associated with the season.  But there’s a new focus.  For most of us, it’s a wonderful time of the year – a time when we can really be thankful for all we have.  There are some of us, however, that always seem to have more than their share of stress during the holiday season. 

Rather than offering a few “tips to deal with holiday stress” that we have all heard a thousand times, we thought it might be appropriate to offer a simpler way to think about the stress of the season.  According to the Mayo Clinic, holiday stress and the sometimes associated depressed feelings are often the result of the three main trigger points that cause holiday stress.

By being aware of these three stress trigger points and their additive effect on your holiday stress, you will be better prepared to recognize them and thus lessen their impact on your holiday mood.

Relationships   Relationships can cause turmoil, conflict or stress at any time. But tensions are often heightened during the holidays. Family misunderstandings and conflicts can intensify — especially if you're all thrust together for several days. Conflicts are bound to arise with so many different personalities, needs and interests. On the other hand, if you're facing the holidays without a loved one, you may find yourself especially lonely or sad.

Finances   Like your relationships, your financial situation can cause stress at any time of the year. But overspending during the holidays on gifts, travel, food and entertainment can increase stress as you try to make ends meet while ensuring that everyone on your gift list is happy. You may find yourself in a financial spiral that leaves you with more stress than you bargained for.

Physical Demands   The strain of shopping, attending social gatherings and preparing holiday meals can be very taxing. Feeling exhausted increases your stress, creating a vicious cycle. Exercise and sleep — good antidotes for stress and fatigue — may take a back seat to chores and errands. High demands, stress, lack of exercise, and overindulgence in food and drink — all are ingredients for holiday illness.

Don’t Forget the Employee Assistance Program.  It’s available 24/7 to answer questions and provide confidential assistance with holiday stress.  Call toll-free 1-888-275-1205 (Option 7).