It’s that time of the year again for friends and family gatherings, overcrowding in the kitchen, growing wish lists and adventurous parking at the grocery store and mall. The holidays are meant to be a joyful time when families come together to reflect on all the great things that everyone should be thankful for. However, at times, the holidays can bring out unwanted stress resulting in anxiety, frustration and mood change.
Here are a few simple tips to reduce your stress level and warning signs that tell you things may be getting out of hand.
- Keep things in perspective. Problems often resolve on their own, given time.
- Stay flexible. Lighten up and learn to compromise on occasion. Go easy on yourself and others. Allow yourself to be less than perfect.
- Share your feelings with family and friends. Allow them to help you through difficult times.
- Make a to-do list and check things off as you finish them. Break up large projects into smaller, more manageable tasks.
- Learn to say no. Don’t take on more than you can handle.
- Schedule time each day for yourself. Do something you enjoy, like a bubble bath, playing a sport or walking.
- Be realistic. Some things you cannot change, like the weather.
- Take care of yourself. Get enough sleep, eat right, limit caffeine and cut down on tobacco and alcohol.
Short-term stress is a normal part of life. But long-term of stress can create mental and physical symptoms such as:
- Mental signs of stress include anxiety, depression, forgetfulness, frustration, moodiness and insomnia.
- Physical signs include headaches, muscle tension, irritable bowel, weight loss or gain, grinding of teeth, faintness or dizziness, bursts of anger, fatigue and skin rashes.
One way to improve your mental health is to learn more about lifestyle changes to reduce stressors. For additional information about stress and your body, visit christusstcatherine.org search the health library for the stress report and assessment, or check out classes for topics and activities that help you reduce stress and improve your outlook.
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