EAP Corner

Handling Holiday Stress

It is hard to believe that the holiday season is upon us.  Yes, we are coming to the close of 2014.  Where did the time go?  I don’t know about you, but I still have many things to finish before the holidays.  Some have end-of-year reviews to do. Others have end-of-year projects to finish. There is holiday cooking, shopping, and getting ready for family gatherings.  All I know is my heart rate rises when I think about it.  There is so much to do with so little time to get it done which can cause stress.  In fact Holiday stress statistics reported by the American Psychological Association show that up to 67% of people are stressed by the feeling of having a “lack of time” and 62% are stressed by perceiving a “lack of money”.  (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2014).

As defined by the Webster Dictionary, Stress;

  • A state of mental tension and worry caused by problem in your life, work, etc.
  • Something that causes strong feelings of worry or anxiety
  • Physical force or pressure

Stress means different things to different people.  How stress comes out can be different for each person. I know when I start
feeling stressed, my heart beats faster. I have a harder time concentrating. I become moody and get frustrated faster. I clinch my jaw which causes headaches, snack on salty food, and get an upset stomach. For others,stress can also cause insomnia, increased blood pressure, low energy and dizziness. Because stress affects you, your brain, and your body, it is important for you to acknowledge you are stressed and try to take action. You need to take care of yourself and get organized. Studies show that the following are ways to help you reduce your stress.

  • Keep your regular exercise schedule or start one. Because you are busy you may need to actually put exercise on your schedule.
  • Relax – Take deep breathes
  • Make Healthy Food Choices
  • Get enough sleep
  • Be positive
  • Control what you can control
  • Plan ahead – make lists
  • Set a budget
  • Don’t over commit yourself, be realistic of what you can accomplish
  • Throughout the day plan breaks to get away from you desk for short walks and clear your mind (Goffried, 2014)

If stress is just too much for you this holiday season, Wholeness Healing Center has trained therapists to help you handle stress in a confidential setting. Your EAP gives you an opportunity to come visit with a trained therapist to help you deal with stress and improve your health. Call 308-382-5297 to schedule an appointment.

Works Cited:

Goffried, D.S. (2014, Sept. 14). How stress affects the body. Retrieved from www.heartmath.com/summer14.
Mayo Clinic Staff. (2014,Sept 19). Stress management. Retrieved from Healthy Lifestyle.
The Greenberg Quinlon Roser. (2006, Dec 12).


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