Stymie Your Holiday Stress

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Cousin Eddie: “You surprised [to see us], Clark?”
Clark W. Griswold:
“Surprised, Eddie? If I woke up tomorrow with my head sewn to the carpet, I wouldn’t be more surprised than I am right now.”

If you can empathize with Clark, it’s no surprise to you, then, that during the holidays, we can all get a little stressed. Sometimes, unfortunately, that stress can even contort itself into depression. But really, it’s not that surprising or even embarrassing; if anything, it’s ordinary. Juggling work, marriage, kids, and bills on TOP of shopping, planning, cooking, organizing, decorating, schmoozing, and traveling is daunting for any human. We’re mere mortals. When you prick us, do we not bleed? When you overload us with junk to buy and eat, do we not collapse? Something is rotten in Santa’s workshop. It is the winter of discontent, and we’re all under the weather. Lucky for us, Wellness360 has the antidote for these holiday afflictions.

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WebMD wastes no time delving into the specifics of holiday depression and stress, suggesting that fatigue or unrealistic holiday expectations often spur more frightening symptoms like excessive drinking, overeating, and insomnia. What’s good to know is that within the article reside 19 tips to cope with holiday tension as well as a possible clinical disorder that may cause considerable stress: Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). This article from Mental Health America confirms that SAD results from exposure to fewer hours of sunlight, recommends early afternoon phototherapy to counteract it, and also shines some light (fake ed.’s note: terrible pun absolutely intended) on other causes and cures related to holiday stress and SAD.

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While it’s easy to get caught up in our own whirling existence of holiday ills, two particularly stress-susceptible groups sometimes go overlooked: teenagers and women. United Press International reports that most women suffer from holiday depression, citing the cause as the buildup of pressure to create the ideal holiday experience, and listing anxiety and substance dependency as potential ramifications. Beliefnet seconds the notion that most women are exhausted this time of year, but claims finding the courage to take a nap in the midst of a day can be a powerful tool in battling fatigue. Healthline also suggests that audio books in the car can reduce holiday driving stress and increase human connection.

Teenagers, like we mentioned above, also balance many emotions and obligations, and as result are often sleep-deprived, anxious, stressed, or caught cheating. If your teenager is particularly worn out this season, plenty of remedies exist at your disposal: make sure they’re eating well, exercising, reading, spending time with family, and talking to you about their stressors and pressures. Research studies show that developmental assets in adolescents beget critical positive characteristics that teens need to remain productive, responsible, and happy.

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Spend some quality time with some teenagers this holiday season.

If the stress continues to weigh you down with headaches and exasperation, consider putting a cactus in front of your computer, which may counter those effects and also brighten up your desk with life and nature. In addition, joyful holiday music, according WebMD, helps your heart. The MayoClinic has 12 more tips for coping with stress and depression during the holidays, like being realistic, seeking support, planning ahead, and learning to say no, while Beliefnet strikes back with ten ways to beat the holiday blues, including creating your own traditions, helping others, and being financially responsible. For help combating anxiety or keeping inner holiday peace, check out their seven quick ways to calm down and fifteen ways to stop obsessing.

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Stop obsessing about your Christmas bonus or a rabid squirrel living in your tree and enjoy the holidays.

Planning on throwing a seasonal soiree? The Daily Green helps to de-stress this endeavor, letting you know how to throw a green and cheap New Year’s party plus how to find and use green holiday decorations. Make it easy on yourself with this handy stress-free guide to holiday entertaining, courtesy of RealSimple. In it you’ll find myriad recipes, healthful lifestyle tips, easy-to-do invitations, last-minute gift ideas, and a mix-and-match holiday menu that contours to your specific needs. Couple that blueprint with Beliefnet’s easy-to-follow guide to having a green Christmas, and you’ve covered every angle without incurring a single ounce of undue distress.

The ideal Christmas party guest list

The ideal Christmas party guest list

With developing stress comes the onset of bad habits: namely, untimely and unwieldy food cravings. And, since we’re right in the middle of cookies and pies and everything nice, it’s doubly hard to resist. So if you think you need just a few more hits from chocolate chip heaven to curb that incoming stress, think again: instead of caving in, take a 15 minute walk, which can reduce chocolate cravings. Or perhaps look into RealSimple’s healthy snacks that satisfy common cravings, which include Stonyfield Farm’s YoBaby Yogurt and Cocoa Via chocolate; you could even employ their seven tips of highly effective snackers. Full of simple suggestions like three 10-minute walks a day, their eight health shortcuts actually work, too! Once you adopt those, these holiday weight loss tips from Beliefnet will synergize to lean you up in time for Easter.

This year, tell your kids Santa's gonna be a little thinner... but not TOO thin

This year, tell your kids Santa's gonna be a little thinner... but not TOO thin.

Typical holiday stress comes and goes with the season like tinsel and hot toddies, but if you continue to feel tense, or if you’ve been feeling these pressures for a while now, listen to what your body is telling you and allow Real Simple to diagnose it; every tinge or crack or irk has a meaning. The symptom solver from Men’s Health can also help identify what ails you, and according to WebMd, if you suffer from a lack of sleep, it could be your holiday diet. Most of these pains and aches and crippling habits stem from seasonal stress, so please, heed the applicable advice and sustain your holiday sanity. From the Wellness360 family to yours, happy holidays.

cvgris

The Wellness360 Family

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