Holiday Stress is something that is probably impacting a lot of us right now — this year especially. The holidays are presented as a very joyful, warm, and fuzzy time of year. A lot of us want to decorate, give gifts, and bake treats. However, is this stereotypical image of the holidays realistic? What is the reality of bringing this vision to life?
There is no rule book on what we should feel or do during the holidays. Even though there is no holiday rule book, sometimes the demands of the holidays spike our stress levels anyway. Finding ways to cope with the stress of the holidays can help us to find our joy this holiday season.
The American culture seems to reinforce people by valuing productivity and being “stressed out” over mental health. Sometimes it seems as if slowing down is seen as undesirable and linked with being lazy. Is it possible that some stress could be self-inflicted?
I didn’t think of myself as stressed. But when you lined up the pieces next to each other, it seemed obvious that there was a lot on my shoulders. Not to mention the extenuating circumstances of this year — Covid, an inland hurricane in Iowa, election season, and more.
Adjusting to college is hard enough without adding the curveball of COVID into the mix. You may be someone who welcomed the changes brought on by the pandemic. The reality is some people are ok with or even prefer the “new normal” and others do not. The truth is that it is okay to not be okay AND it’s also okay to be okay.
Ask, “Are you thinking of killing yourself?” This may seem like a difficult question and many fear that asking someone this question will put thoughts of suicide into their minds, but research indicates that asking individuals that are at risk of suicide does not increase the chance of suicide attempts or suicidal thoughts.
Some stress is necessary to motivate us to act. Think about the stress you might feel while preparing for a test. It can motivate you to study hard do well on the exam. However, too much stress can interfere with our daily life and performance and can lead to long-term health issues.
For all people, how we handle challenges has a lot to do with our ability to be resilient. Resiliency is like a rubber band, the more resilient you are, the springier your rubber band and the quicker you are able to rebound from a difficult event. As we continue to stretch our rubber band over and over as we go from pandemic to home schooling to natural disaster, the harder it has become for the rubber band to regain its original shape.