The holidays are undoubtedly a joyous time. However, they can also exacerbate many stressors that could lead to increased feelings of anxiety for many people just wanting to have some family fun.
The American Psychological Association was concerned about stress levels during the holidays, so they’ve created their own Holiday Stress Resource Center for anyone looking for a little help.
The APA even identified the top four main stressors of the holidays: difficult family conversations, the pressure of gift giving, finances, and managing expectations.
Stress, in any of its forms and permutations, is never good for ones health and well being.
Not All Stressors Are Created Equal
There are many common stressors. Some last only a short time. This is called acute stress. Examples of acute stressors include arguing with a friend, celebrating a holiday, or getting a flat tire.
Acute stress can end when a problem ends. Some stressors continue for a long time. This is called chronic stress. Examples of chronic stressors include raising children, lack of job benefits, and money worries.
You don’t have just one kind of stressor or the other. Acute and chronic stressors can occur at the same time. It is not always easy to cope with both stresses at the same time.
Sometimes we can predict stressors. If work gets very busy or the holidays are stressful, you can prepare yourself so that the stress is not so big. Other times we do not know when a stressor will affect us. If your child suddenly gets very sick, you were probably not expecting that. It can be helpful, though, if you already have regular ways to cope with stress.
Celebrating the Holidays with family and friends, should be a happy time. It should provide the impetus for introspection, reflection and gratitude, not anxiety, animosity and stress.
At Bridgeway, we wish all of our friends and family a joyous and stress free holiday season!