Tis the season… for stress. The holidays can be a major source of depression and anxiety and the emotional toll they take can overshadow the joys of the season. As Thanksgiving approaches, there are various ways to maintain emotional and physical wellness.
A multitude of factors can make the holidays upsetting, including money worries, a lack of time, high expectations, and the commercialization of the season. By preparing for these things before the holidays get underway, the emotional toll may end up being less draining. Setting aside as little as 15 minutes of alone time will provide a break from the chaos and an opportunity to avoid getting overwhelmed. Holiday expenses can be managed by creating a budget and sticking to it, ultimately limiting overspending and all the stress that comes with it.
The holidays are also prime time for overindulgence that can lead to emotional and physical distress. Maintaining habits like exercise and healthy eating can limit how bad you’ll end up feeling after the season is over. Remembering that the holidays don’t have to be perfect is a good way to avoid unnecessary stress, as well, the Mayo Clinic advises. If the holidays already have you feeling emotionally drained, acknowledge that its normal and seek support from friends, family, or a professional.
The majority of Americans said that they weren’t feeling happy and content during the most joyous season, according to a study done by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research in 2006. Sixty-one percent of people said they experienced significant stress and 68 percent reported feeling overly fatigued. The study found that the season is most stressful for those who have experienced emotional distress during previous holiday seasons. People who experienced additional stress before the holidays began were also more likely to experience stress, according to the American Psychological Association.
Women and lower-middle-income families were most affected emotionally, according to the study. Women may experience more stress because they take on more of the primary responsibilities during the season, the authors acknowledged. As for lower income families, the economic burden of the holidays can cause significant distress.