Coping With Holiday Stress And Anxiety, Part 1

This is a busy time of year for most of us. It’s hard not to notice the bustling crowds at stores, the mile-long gift lists, and the parties and events that are expected with the holidays. Whether you celebrate a traditional Christmas or do other things, you are likely feeling some extra stress this time of year.

Holiday stressors affect us in part because of all the extra work on our hands. On top of normal routines, it’s common to feel like there is a monkey on your back. There is only a certain amount of days and hours and they seem to go by so fast. The additional pressures and expectations only make it worse.

I have found it’s important to understand stress and anxiety and the roles they play in our lives. Both of these conditions are completely normal and something we can learn to handle. Stress management isn’t about making the stress go away completely; it’s about learning how to cope.

How we help ourselves with one problem determines how we help ourselves with many problems. By having a more positive view of our stressors and taking better care of ourselves when we are stressed out, we will be better adapted to handle any kind of pressure situation.

While we don’t have much control over our personal to-do lists and how the people around us behave, we do have control over how we handle ourselves. Whether you are inclined to laugh or cry when things get rough, you can choose the response that best serves yourself. There isn’t a special talent that allows one person to take stress with strides and another to balk under pressure. It’s simply practice. You can take responsibility for your stressors by practicing helpful responses when things get tough.

If you don’t prioritize your own well being, stress and anxiety can harm you in devastating ways. Make it a priority to finding better coping mechanisms this holiday season and notice the changes that take place. In part two I’ll share with you some specific things you can do to handle stress and anxiety better.

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