What is stress?
It’s perfectly natural to feel stressed now and then; it’s our body’s way of dealing with things it sees as threats. It’s how we prepare to run away from or confront danger.
Unfortunately, many things that trigger stress during the holidays aren’t things that we can fight or flee. Unwelcome guests appear, work parties demand attending, shopping overwhelms, and baking becomes insurmountable
Why is stress a problem?
Stress isn’t a problem, per se, but if stress continues, it can become chronic and can lead to other problems, including anxiety, depression, and even physical ailments.
What does stress look like?
Different people may feel stress in different ways. Some may have trouble with digestion, sleep, depression, anger, or headaches. Others may notice an increase in frequency and severity of viral infections, like flu or colds.
How can I deal with stress?
How people cope with stress varies. That’s why it’s important to know your limits when you’re stressed out. This may help you from contracting serious health effects.
You can take some practical steps to prevent, combat, and cope with stress, as well as maintain physical and mental health. Here are 10 top tips to deal with holiday stress:
- When you’re feeling overwhelmed or unable to cope, thinking about suicide, or turning to substance abuse, seek out a licensed mental health practitioner.
- Address any current health problems.
- Stay close to your support base, like friends, family, work, or church associates.
- Know your body’s responses to stress, such as insomnia, substance use, anger, depression, or low energy.
- Prioritize. Know what needs to get done and what can wait. Learn to say no to new tasks, especially if you are already overwhelmed.
- Be fair to yourself. Remember what you’ve accomplished, not what you failed to do.
- Don’t dwell on problems. If you feel a problem is insurmountable, get assistance from a mental health professional who will advise you.
- Exercise. Even 30 minutes a day of gentle walking can elevate your mood and reduce stress.
- Ensure you have regular times when you can engage in healthy, relaxing activities.
- Investigate various stress coping regimens like meditation, yoga, tai chi, or prayer.
EMPowerplus Advanced, combined with other healthy lifestyle changes, can also help.
Have you had to deal with stress? Let us know in the comments below what has helped you most.