Stress and the Holidays

HERBS FOR HEALTH MANAGEMENT

Herbs are a foundational root in medicine and health treatments, dating back thousands of years throughout every culture around the world. Modern Western herbalism comes from ancient Egypt. The Greeks developed a comprehensive philosophy of herbal medicine by 100 BCE and the Romans built upon it to create a variety of medical practices, some of which are still used today.

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ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE IMPACTS PSYCHOLOGICAL HARDINESS

Psychological hardiness is an individual’s resistance to stress, anxiety and depression. It includes the ability to withstand grief and accept the loss of loved ones. Alternative medicine is a more popular term for health and wellness therapies that have typically not been part of conventional Western medical approaches but are often used along with conventional medicinal protocols.  Coping and dealing with stress in a positive manner play a major role in maintaining the balance needed for health and well-being.

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ALTERNATIVE REMEDIES FOR ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION

Interest in complimentary and alternative medicine (CAM) is increasing as consumers and health care professionals search for additional ways to treat anxiety, depression and other mental health disorders. Some of these remedies include:

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Holiday shopping:

Shop early when there is more of a selection. Ask people what they want instead of trying to find perfect gifts. Lack of money is one of the biggest causes of stress during the holiday season. So set a budget and don’t spend more than you’ve planned. It’s okay to tell your child that a certain toy costs too much.


Here are some helpful ways to lessen holiday stress and feel more optimistic about the season.


Volunteer.

Find a local charity such as a shelter that needs volunteers and offer to help. Or participate in community giving tree or adopt-a-family programs. Helping others can lift your mood and help you overcome your struggles with stress.


Take out time for yourself.

You may feel pressured to be everything to everyone, but remember you’re only one person and can only accomplish certain things. Sometimes self-care is the best thing you can do. Others will benefit when you’re feeling less stressed. Take

STRESS AND THE HOLIDAYS

HARLEENA SINGH

Harleena Singh is a professional freelance writer with a background in teaching and education. She has a keen interest in food and health related issues and can be approached through her website freelancewriter.co. Checkout her blog and network with her on Google+, Twitter, and Facebook.

more articles by harleena singh

out time to do things that give you joy. Go for a long walk; get a massage; take time to listen to your favorite music; or read a new book. All of us need some time to recharge our batteries. Be mindful and focus on the present rather than dwelling on the past or worrying about the future.


Be realistic and open.

If your children’s wish list is outside your budget, talk to them about sensible expectations and remind them the holidays aren’t about expensive gifts. Remember what’s important: your loved ones, not store-bought presents, elaborate decorations or gourmet food. Focus on what you and your family have in common. Plan activities you can do together that foster fun and laughter, such as playing a game together or looking through old photo albums.


Keep a regular sleep, meal and  exercise schedule.

Limit your alcohol. Taking care of yourself will help you deal with stressful situations during the holidays. Meditate or do some relaxation breathing. Exercise and other types of physical activity stimulate the production of endorphins in the brain. Endorphins are brain chemicals that function as a natural painkiller. They can trigger positive feelings in the body, boosting mood and reducing feelings of anxiety and stress.


Learn to say no.

Saying yes when you should say no can leave you feeling resentful and overwhelmed. Friends and colleagues will understand if you can't participate in every project or activity. If it’s not possible to say no when your boss asks you to work overtime, try to remove something else from your agenda to make up for the lost time.


If the tips above are not helpful and you are still feeling stressed and overwhelmed, consult a psychologist or other licensed mental health professional – someone who can help you identify problem areas and develop an action plan for changing them.


Sources and Resources


A recent Stress in America survey showed 24 percent of American adults report extreme stress, and more than one-third of adults report their stress increased over the past year. Stress and the holidays seem to go hand in hand. Your busy schedule becomes even busier with preparations and celebrations. People who already feel extreme stress may find the holiday season to be an added challenge. Instead of dreading the stress that lies ahead, try viewing the holidays as an opportunity to enhance your psychological well-being. Here are a few examples for a holiday stress-prevention list:


Planning family get-togethers:

Ask others to bring their favorite dishes. Cook and freeze foods ahead of time. Buy prepared foods instead of cooking everything from scratch. Don’t spend all your time planning activities for your family. You might end up feeling drained and unappreciated.