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Coping with Stress this Holiday Season

Everyone experiences stress from time to time. It’s part of normal life. Most people’s stress levels increase this time of year due to the added pressures that come with the holidays such as parties, gifting, decorations, and missing loved ones. When you factor in daily stressors like relationships, work issues, illness, and child care; our stress levels can really skyrocket. Cumulative stress may become so severe that it can seriously impact quality of life.

Some people are cognizant of what tends to trigger their stress, while others may not be so conscious of their hot button issues. Being aware of personal stressors increases one’s ability to either prevent stress or to handle it more effectively. Learning to quickly identify stressors is a key step in managing stress. If you are experiencing stress right now, take some time to consider what tends to set it in motion for you.

Symptoms of Stress may include:

  • Irritability or moodiness
  • Interrupted sleep
  • Worrying or feeling anxiety
  • Back and neck pain
  • Frequent headaches, minor to migraine
  • Upset stomach
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Changes in appetite
  • Rashes or skin breakouts
  • Chest pain
  • More susceptible to cold/flu and slower recovery

These symptoms tend to reduce quality of life. People suffering from stress may notice that work performance or relationships suffer as a result.

Once you’ve identified your stress inducing triggers, see if there are some items on that list (within your control) that you can better manage. Incorporate regular exercise into your routine, which can give you the energy you may be lacking to deal effectively with stress. Eating well and sleeping well are two essential ways that you can increase your ability to handle stress. Take time out to truly enjoy family and friends. Learn new problem solving techniques, which can be useful to clarify and eliminate problems that trigger stress. Learn calming techniques such as deep breathing, muscle relaxation or yoga. Consider whether negative thinking is a contributing factor to your stress. Negative thinking leads us to worry more than is necessary and prevents us from taking positive action.

If this holiday season is bringing added stressors into your life and you would like to speak with a counselor, please contact Life Enhancement Counseling Services today at 407-443-8862 to schedule an appointment with one of our Orlando mental health counselors.

 

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