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Handling The Holiday Stress

Holiday Stress and Winter Blues The holiday season can be the most wonderful time of the year to some and a time of stress to others. Being with family and friends might seem like the ideal way to celebrate all the festivities, but it can also be a source of worry. This year make it a priority to pay attention to how the holidays are affecting you and your loved ones. The holiday blues can creep up when you least expect them to, so make sure to be prepared.

Set a budget

Overspending is an easy trap to fall into during the holiday shopping season. Retailers have become experts at making every possible shopping day a sales event, starting earlier every year. Plan a holiday budget to help avoid financial stress.

  • Shop with cash. Dazzling decorations and familiar holiday music can lure you into buying too much. Leave credit cards at home to limit your purchasing power.
  • Have a gift exchange. Whether you need a present for an office colleague or dear Aunt Martha, you can save money by shopping for fewer people. Be a better secret Santa by pulling a name and sticking to the maximum dollar limit.
  • Make a donation. If someone on your list has a favorite cause, donate in their honor. Many organizations will send cards to notify the recipient. It is a goodwill gesture that recognizes the true meaning of giving.

Make healthy choices

During the holidays, taking a break from your normal routine may sound like a good idea. If healthy habits are part of your daily activities, keep focusing on those. They can actually help you more effectively manage any stress.

  • Eat in moderation. Going for seconds and thirds during festive meals can be tempting. Overeating can also be a way to relieve feelings of anxiety or being overwhelmed. Portion size is a good rule to follow anytime of the year.
  • Limit excessive drinking. The holidays offer many opportunities to raise a glass. You should avoid having too much, especially if you are feeling lonely or tense. Don’t drink and drive, be aware of anyone else who may need a designated drive.
  • Get plenty of sleep. Waiting up for Santa may have been fun when you were young, but sleep is a gift you can give yourself. Follow your normal bedtime routine to help you relax.
  • Maintain an exercise schedule. The holidays are the perfect time to gather family and friends for ice skating or a friendly game of flag football in addition to your regular workout. High-impact activity releases endorphins that improve your mood.

Know when to see a doctor

Certain symptoms, such as fatigue, can signal something more serious than holiday stress. If you are feeling irritable, experiencing sleepless nights or having headaches, you should call your doctor. A physical examination and lab tests may help diagnose a medical condition.

Midwest Express Clinic can provide a thorough examination if you are having symptoms that are keeping you from fully enjoying the holidays. Our team of medical professionals can offer diagnosis and on-site lab testing. Visit us today if your need is immediate or schedule an appointment at a location near you.