Holiday Stress


CPR – CPRescue

The Holiday’s normally bring with them a sufficient amount of stress. Many of us are feeling it more this year because of the present state of the economy. Company layoffs that affect us directly or our friends and the worsening signs of a global recession, can make this an exceptionally hard year. This additional stress may lower our immune system and can have a detrimental effect on our health. Be aware of the signs and symptoms of additional stress. Are you experiencing any of the following:
• Frequent headaches
• Tension in the neck or back
• Experiencing more sick days from colds or flu’s
• Heighten level/sense of anxiety
• Problems sleeping
• Feelings of frustration
• Depression
• Fatigue
• Lower libido

If so, the next step is to choose a way to deal with your stress. One way is to avoid the event or thing that leads to your stress–but often this is not possible. A second way is to change how you react to stress. This is often the best way. Many of us have heard about meditation and deep breathing exercises to help manage the effects of stress. But here are a few others you may want to consider:

How to Deal with Holiday Stress:
• Exercise – Regular exercise is one of the best ways to manage stress. Walking is a great way to get started. Even everyday activities such as house cleaning or yard work can reduce your stress level if you do them vigorously. Stretching is also a good way to relieve muscle tension. Regular, moderate physical activity may be the single best approach to managing stress.
• Time Management – Learn better ways to manage your time. You may get more done with less stress if you make a schedule. Think about which things are most important, and do those first. Time management skills can allow you to spend more time with your family and friends and possibly increase your performance and productivity. This will help reduce your stress.
• Social Support – This type of support includes both emotional support such as love, trust, and understanding, as well as advice and concrete help such as time or money. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness. In fact, it can bring you closer to people you interact with every day, and it can significantly reduce your stress level.
• Visualization – Is a method of using your imagination to help you relax and release tension caused by stress. Your body responds to the images in your mind. Use these simple imagery exercise for relaxing or renewing your energy when you need to relax.
• Laughter – A good laugh has great short-term effects. When you start to laugh, it doesn’t just lighten your load mentally, it actually induces physical changes in your body. Laughter enhances your intake of oxygen-rich air, stimulates your heart, lungs and muscles, and increases the endorphins that are released by your brain. A rollicking laugh fires up and then cools down your stress response and increases your heart rate and blood pressure. The result? A good, relaxed feeling.

Stress can be overwhelming. If this is the case, if you fell fatigued or depressed, you may want to seek outside help from a professional counselor or other health professional. Hopefully using some of the approaches above, can help reduce and decrease the stress in your life.

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