Avoiding Stress During the Holidays

The holiday period from Thanksgiving through New Years Day can be a time of great joy and celebration. It can also be a time of stress, anger, fear, frustration, and disappointment.   There are many causes of the “holiday blues” including stress, fatigue, separation from family, and financial concerns.

Commuting, shift work, undesirable days off, and the inability to get time off are circumstances that confront all of our members to varying degrees

Unrealistic expectations of how the holiday should be (the perfect day), comparisons to past holidays, obsessing over “what if” or “if only”, dealing with the needs or desires of family members can also add to the holiday blues.

Physical signs of stress include rapid heartbeat, headache, stiff neck and/or tight shoulders, backache, rapid breathing, sweaty palms, upset stomach, nausea, or diarrhea. Mental signs can include irritability, intolerance of minor disturbances, irritation or frustration, loss of temper more often, yelling at others for no reason, feeling jumpy or exhausted all the time, difficulty focusing on tasks, worrying too much about insignificant things.

Some suggestions for keeping the holidays a happy and joyous time:

  • Keep expectations realistic for your personal situation.  (It’s ok if everything isn’t perfect)
  • Set manageable goals
  • Pace yourself
  • Organize your time
  • Be realistic about what you can and cannot do
  • Set reasonable spending limits
  • Do not expect the holidays to fix personal problems that existed before
  • Do something nice for someone and/or help someone less fortunate than yourself
  • Avoid overindulgence of alcohol
  • Remember the spirit of the holidays

For help with this or any personal problem from substance abuse to family matters contact your local IAM/EAP Coordinator, or you may contact Paul Shultz: 704-907-3563,  pm.shultz@att.net



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Updated: December 8, 2015 — 11:38 am
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