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Battling Holiday Depression and Stress

Business Insurance

While many look forward to the holidays, others dread the season. Holiday-related stress and depression can cause headaches, excessive alcohol consumption, overeating, and insomnia.

If you feel stressed, the obligations at holiday time can take their toll on even the most cheerful of people. Here are some tips to help you minimize holiday stress.

Common Causes of Stress

Ask yourself what exactly about the season makes you feel stressed. Your feelings may be triggered by the following:

  • Unhappy childhood memories
  • Difficult familial relationships
  • Negative feelings about your life over the past year
  • Seasonal monotony—seeing the same faces, eating the same food, and going through the same motions
  • Lowered immune defenses because of colder temperatures, high incidence of the flu, eating more, and sleeping less
  • Financial stress

How to Minimize Holiday Stress

To combat these side effects, it is best to identify the cause(s) of your stress and then take steps to rectify them. Consider the following tips to help reduce stress this holiday season:

  • Enjoy the present and try not to worry about what may be lacking.
  • Don’t feel you must meet all family obligations. Do not simply do something or go somewhere because of tradition, especially if it makes you unhappy.
  • Ask others for assistance. For example, ask a relative to host the family get-together, or make it a potluck and have everyone contribute to the meal.
  • Make a to-do list in chronological order so you do not become too overwhelmed.
  • Try to limit your alcohol intake.
  • Stay active and continue to exercise and eat a balanced diet.
  • Create a new tradition, such as volunteering, especially if you are feeling lonely.
  • Make time for yourself and your needs, even when hosting guests in your house.
  • Keep tabs on your holiday spending. Make a budget and stick to it—no exceptions.

This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. For further information, please consult a medical professional. © 2008, 2010-2011, 2014, 2018 Zywave, Inc. All rights reserved.

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