John Call

John A Call Ph.D., J.D., A.

Crisis Center

Holiday Stress: How to Manage It

How to manage holiday stress

Posted Dec 03, 2008

The holidays are a great time to relax and spend time with family and friends, but many people find themselves being stressed out during this time. "How am I going to afford that gift?" "How am I going to make it through holiday dinner with bitter Aunt Alma?" "It just won't be the same this year without Grandma here." There are many sources of stress for people during the holiday season, especially with respect to family and money. Recent research suggests that women are more vulnerable to holiday stress, and they may be less likely to take the necessary steps to manage it.

There are several ways to help manage stress during the holidays. Here are a few:

*Find out what stresses you out. Is it a certain situation, a particular person, or that long list of things to do? Realizing what gives you stress is the first step to managing it.

*Find out how you deal with stress personally. Does stress give you a headache? Do you get moody with family members? Do you find yourself needing a drink to get through the day? Recognizing how you handle stress can help you determine if your coping style is an effective one.

*If you determine that your stress management behaviors are not healthy ones, try changing one at a time. Don't be too hard on yourself if you still feel irritated at your loved ones or you still feel that craving to have a drink. It takes time and effort to change!

*Remember to take good care of yourself during stressful times. Try to eat healthy, get out and exercise a bit, and get enough sleep. These things will keep your body healthy, which will cut down on stress.

*Go to your family and friends for support when you need it. Talking to your loved ones during hard times will help decrease the stress on your mind. And if you find yourself needing professional help, don't hesitate to seek out a mental health professional who can help you manage your stress in a more healthy way. Sometimes people benefit from a little help when learning how to handle stress effectively.

Good luck and enjoy the holidays!

About the Author

John Call

John A. Call, Ph.D., J.D., A.B.P.P., is a forensic psychologist, an attorney, and president of Crisis Management Consultants, Inc.

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