For many, Christmas is the most wonderful time of year. They thrive on the hustle and bustle, decorating the halls, baking the cookies and singing along with carols on the radio. They look forward to creating family memories and seeing the lights.
For others, the holidays and the stress attached is overwhelming. They’d love to feel the warmth of Christmas cheer but they can’t. The holidays are no longer fun for them. But for many people, the holidays and the stress that ensues is overwhelming and they lack Christmas cheer because of it. According to the American Psychology Association, we are more stressed than ever and the holiday season is no exception. 69% of people feel stressed about the lack of time and lack of money during the holiday season. 50% are stressed about the gift giving process. The most stressed generation are the Gen Xers at 62%, followed by the Boomers and Millennials at 61%. Many health experts believe the societal expectations that we’re supposed to be filled with peace, joy, and love during this season increases our stress because we feel guilty for not living up to those expectations.
Holiday stress manifests itself in:
And more. Stress can ultimately lead to cardiovascular disease and heart attacks. Holiday stress occurs for many reasons. For some it may be a reminder of a loved one lost during the year; for others the stress of entertaining may be too much; still others may stress over family issues that come to a head when everyone gathers together. Fortunately, there are a number of strategies you can employ to reduce your stress and enjoy your holiday to the fullest.
Stress is inevitable during the holiday season, even if it’s good stress. According to Jeffrey Borenstein, MD, President and CEO of Brain and Behavior Research Foundation, “We can learn to recognize holiday triggers, such as financial pressures or personal demands, and combat them before they lead to a meltdown. With a little planning and some positive actions, you can find ways to enjoy the holidays.” With some simple planning and a few BrainTap breaks during the holidays, you can minimize stress and anxiety, maintain your relaxation and health, and truly enjoy the holidays this season. From the BrainTap family to your family, we wish you the happiest and healthiest holiday season yet!
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