Stress and the Holidays


Stress and the Holidays
For many people, stress levels spike during holiday season and here are the key reasons.

Both the National Mental Health Association and the American Psychological Association offer many recommendations to build resiliency against the inevitable stressors of life.

Here are a dozen ways to get started:


  • Recognize that it will never be a perfect world, even during the holidays, so go with the hand that has been dealt to you for these holidays. “It is what it is.” The holidays will pass quickly.
  • Become assertive and learn to say “no” to unreasonable time pressures and responsibilities that others put on you.
  • Exercise regularly, engaging in aerobic activities, and maintain good nutrition, avoiding caffeine, alcohol and nicotine.
  • Build relaxation time into your life and enjoy calming music or reading, especially during those times when you are not with family
  • Have a relaxing hobby that you enjoy and give yourself permission to engage in it each week, in order to distract your attention from stress-producing news on TV, for example.
  • Do one task at a time, instead of multi-tasking
  • Use the power of visualization to picture yourself engaging in relaxing, healthy pursuits and write down goals in order to accomplish those pursuits.
  • Use imagery, meditation or self-hypnosis to imagine accomplishing your goals peacefully, while letting go of situations over which you have little or no control.
  • Laugh each day, whether it’s from hearing or repeating jokes, watching funny videos or hanging around with funny people.
  • Stay away from highly tensed, negative people
  • Try to play with a pet each day.
  • Get professional help if you still feel overwhelmed and stressed.

Our world these days is filled with invitations to worry and feel hopeless. But events and situations only represent 10% of the stress in our lives. What we do about these events determines whether we will be overwhelmed or resilient. Begin practicing these dozen stress-busting tips and watch your life take a turn for the best!

Jack Singer, Ph.D.
Clinical/Sport Psychologist

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