The holidays are often the most stressful months of the year. This may surprise some, as many think that holidays bring joy and celebration. Often holidays can trigger many stressful situations, such as trying to figure out how to afford to buy gifts, remembering loved ones who are no longer here to celebrate with us, mingling with family members when relationships are strained, taking on too many duties, and preparing a home for guests.
There are several different types of stress that range from Eustress, which is a positive form of stress, to chronic stress, which has been linked to many serious health issues. While we want to manage or eliminate the negative types of stress, we also want to keep positive forms of stress in our lives to help us remain vital and alive.
To eliminate negative stress identify techniques that relax and energize you, have immediate impact on your stress, are enjoyable and make you feel good, consistently work for you, and are always or easily accessible. One of the best ways to reduce stress quickly is through the senses: sight (look at a cherished photo), sound (listen to nature), smell (light a scented candle), taste (sipping hot tea), touch (petting cat/dog), and movement (running in place).
In addition, here are five quick ways to cope with feeling overwhelmed during the holiday season:
- taking a brief walk to clear your mind
- practicing deep breathing
- partaking in guided imagery
- reframing the situation
- delegating tasks
- engaging in progressive muscle relaxation.