With the holiday season upon us, our stress levels can often increase with all the yuletide cheer.
Amid all the festive ‘fun,’ stress seems like an unavoidable part of the season. But we have some ideas for managing and reducing your stress levels in hopes of making the holidays a little more jolly and bright.
Even though Santa Claus is on his way, we still have to manage work, our households, and our relationships while trying to carve out meaningful time with our kids.
Small wonder that we’re all stressed!
The holistic definition of stress is the negative state of arousal that challenges both mind and body.
Signs of stress include:
- sleep issues
- worrisome thoughts
- skin rashes
- over-use of substances or chemicals
- angry feelings
- minor accidents and being clumsy
- feeling that we “never have enough time”
Stress also manifests itself in symptoms such as:
- increased heart rate
- tight shoulders
- back pain
- feeling overwhelmed
All of these signs and symptoms are the body and mind’s way of saying you need to slow down and make some changes. And if you don’t listen to these warnings, more serious symptoms may develop.
While some of you might be hoping to hear, ‘Go out and get wasted with your gal pals,’ we’ve got some more realistic and proactive suggestions to help you nip that nagging stress in the bud:
- Grab a piece of paper and write, “I know I’m stressed out when I hear myself saying…” and give five examples if you can. Then write, “I know I’m stressed out when I experience…” and come up with five examples of how your body feels when under stress.
- Next take a look at your coping skills. On that same piece of paper, write, “When I’m under stress, I usually…” and give five examples of how you typically cope. Next, write, “As part of my self-care routine, I deal with stress by…”
- This last exercise will help you see how you value self-care. Do you take time to relax, meditate, carve out “me” time, eat well, exercise and have fun? The next time you’re feeling those stress “pains,” try to take a little time for yourself. After all, if we don’t take care of ourselves, how can we take care of others?
And of course, if you’re feeling all too overwhelmed, please reach out for some help. There’s no shame in asking for a helping hand – whether it’s from a friend or a professional – if need be.
What are some of your favorite stress busters? Leave your suggestions in the comments.