Handling the Holiday Stress

Girlfriends, Are you stressed during the holidays? Be amongst the 12% who aren’t.

Do you immediately tense up when you start thinking about the holidays? Does your heart flutter when you realize you are going to be spending time with your extended family? Do you lay awake at night worried about the money you are going to spend? Well, you aren’t alone.  One study shows up to 88% of the US population struggle and stresses about the holidays. Even children get stressed over the holidays.  

The causes range from just being overwhelmed to making every meal you cook award-winning and every gift you wrap be perfect. In addition, we are invited to so many events and have extended families to see in a short period of time. Do you feel you need to keep traditions and ensure everyone is happy and the occasion is memorable? Have you lost someone you love, and this is just a very difficult time for you?  Add in the financial burden, travel, and all the family visits, and stress will add up quickly. 

Holiday stress can look the same as everyday stress. It can cause anxiety, sadness, depression, irritability, and an inability to sleep.  When you are sitting in traffic, late for a meeting, or worried about finances your hypothalamus, the area in your brain that produces hormones, decides to send out the stress hormone. This triggers the “fight or flight” response. Your heart races, your breath quickens, and your muscles are ready for action. It was designed to protect you in emergencies, but when the stress response keeps kicking in, day after day, it could put your health at serious risk. So, if you have a little stress over the holidays, it won’t kill you in the long run, but add it to daily stress and no release and you could be looking at long-term effects. 

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