Strategies to manage stress around hectic holidays

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The holidays are a special time of year as we celebrate a time of giving. But with all of the decorations, parties and time with family and friends, it can also be a very hectic time of year, causing a significant amount of stress.

Whether you are celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or another special holiday, stress can create a lot of issues during this time of year. All of us deal with stress in different ways and it is important that we recognize how we manage it.

For many of us, stress can cause increased eating, less patience with family and friends, more alcohol consumption than normal or potentially even using other drugs that we would not otherwise choose to use. All of these are habits we know are unhealthy, yet many of us resort to these in order to deal with the issues that arise during this time of year. As we move through the holidays, let’s remember to take care of ourselves.

Allow your body the opportunity to recover from all of the stressors of the day by getting a good night’s sleep. If you are consumed with issues that need to be addressed, write them down.

Make every effort to eat well-balanced meals. That is not to say that you need to avoid all of the treats during the holidays, just enjoy in moderation. Overindulgence of anything is not a good idea. If you decide to partake in alcoholic drinks, again, do so in moderation and never drink and drive.

Energize your body by exercising regularly, even if this is only a 15-minute walk daily. This can allow you to clear your mind and better organize the activities you have for the rest of the day.

The holiday season is meant to be a time to enjoy with family and friends. Make it a joyous time by taking care of yourself first. By doing that, you will be able to better handle the stress that comes with the holiday, increasing the enjoyment for all of your family and friends.

From Wilson Medical Center, we wish you a very safe and happy holiday season.

Ronald Stahl, MD, is the chief medical officer at Wilson Medical Center.