Holiday Stress

Buy presents. Wrap presents. Buy presents for people you did not think were getting you presents, but did. Buy presents for those you forgot on your first list. Buy a tree, and decorate it. Decorate the house (inside and out). Bake cookies, Decorate cookies. Package the cookies attractively. Go to the office Holiday party, and then go to a friend’s Holiday party. Babysit your friend’s kids while they go to their friend’s parties. And, then there is family time. All of this, and I am still expected to work a full time job, work a part time job, get to the gym and keep up with the regular household chores.

It is no wonder that according to an American Psychological Association survey, 36% of Americans will either turn to food or alcohol to relieve stress. For me food is definitely a way to escape, while my husband enjoys his beer. Eating a warm cookie from the first batch is truly an escape for me, if only for a few seconds. The problem is the rest of the cookies stare at me all the while stress is building, and then before you know it I have had my little peanut butter blossom escape 10 times with milk!

To cut down on Holiday stress, keep it simple. If gift giving has become too extravagant, try a secret Santa approach. This way, only one gift needs to be purchased. If holiday decorating feels like a chore; skip the outside. No one will think any less of you. Experts agree that taking care of yourself is essential if you are going to enjoy the holiday season.

Keep in mind, that addition to eating and drinking more, prolonged stress can lead to increased Cortisol which has been linked with weight gain, cardiovascular disease, and hypertension.  So finding ways to relax is essential.