The holidays should be fun – right? The holidays are a festive time full of good food, visiting family and friends, making new memories and reminiscing about the past. However, the holidays can also be a time of increased stress and can take a toll on your mental health. Business Psychology Associates (BPA) has identified some of the biggest stressors of the holidays.
- Financial strain and worry
- Over-scheduling and over-committing
- Seasonal Affective Disorder from shorter days and decreased sunlight
- Remembering and mourning times with lost loved ones
5 WAYS TO REDUCE HOLIDAY STRESS
Consider these tools to combat holiday stress and help you enjoy all the wonderful things the season brings.
- Set a budget. One of the biggest stressors of the season is money. Take time to look at your finances and make a list of the gifts you want to buy as well as other holiday expenditures including travel and party expenses. Don't stop there. Consider setting up a savings account just for the holidays where you contribute a small amount out of each paycheck. By this time next year, you may have what you need with no additional strain on the pocket book.
- Be realistic with your time. Sure, there are parties to host and to attend, treats to make, and shopping to be completed. But you are only one person. Get out your calendar and schedule your time. Consider limiting how much you take on so that you can enjoy time you do have with loved ones.
- Get out - don't isolate yourself. For some, the holiday season is a very lonely time. Get out and enjoy the sights and sounds of the season. See a special holiday show or movie with a friend. Or better yet, volunteer to help others during this time. One of the best ways to lift your spirits is to help another person.
- Seek help. If you're having feelings of depression and sadness, don't hesitate to seek professional help. Call your EAP to talk to someone who can help you with the feelings you're having.
- Don't ignore the importance of diet and exercise. This is the time of year is a time for indulging but do so in moderation. Be sure to include lots of fresh fruits and vegetables along with your pumpkin pie and eggnog. Exercise is a very beneficial and natural mood booster. Set a goal to exercise for at least thirty minutes, five days a week. What better way to enjoy the outside lights than to stroll around the neighborhood. Or, schedule time during daylight hours to get in a brisk walk. The sunlight and extra vitamin D may help boost your mood and reduce your stress.
Business Psychology Associates reminds employees and employers to be aware of the programs available to assist them and their family members, such as an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) which provides no-cost professional counseling. If you don’t have an EAP program included in your group health insurance plan contact us and get more information about the low cost and benefits of an EAP from the licensed Health Insurance Agents at AMERICAN INSURANCE.
- Source: Business Psychology Associates, – Happy (Stressful) Holidays, October 2015 Management E-Tips