We all know how damaging stress can be on your overall health. It affects your heart, does a number on your immune system, making you much more susceptible to getting sick, and even causes memory loss. Those are things you definitely don't need, at any time of the year! The holidays can be hard on people, because there are just so many things expected of us. Our obligations to family and friends shouldn't make us feel stressed and overwhelmed, but it can happen anyway.
You might have holiday parties to go to, lots of presents to buy, and things to cook and bake and decorate. You might certainly want to do these things, but you're pressed for time. And then there's the snow and cold weather adding to the stress of going shopping, standing in line and making your way through the crowded malls and stores to try to get the discounts on the presents you want to buy. All of this on top of a bigger heating bill and other usual bills.
When we get stressed out, our body respond in a way that isn't always appropriate for the situation. Our bodies release a stress hormone called cortisol, which if you are stressed for a long period of time, this hormone can start to wear on the body. One of the main things it will do is weaken your immune system, and you definitely don't need that during cold and flu season.
If you're feel rushed and overwhelmed, one of the best things to do, is to write down what you need to do in a list format. Order them by priority and which things need to be done first. Then, you can jot these things down in a planner or on a calendar. Writing out what you need to do will get it out of your brain, so you won't feel overwhelmed, but you'll feel secure that you won't forget.
Do what you enjoy, and do it often. Do you love baking? Bake some festive cookies and other sweets for yourself and others. If you get overwhelmed by being around too many people, make time for some alone time where you can watch a holiday movie or read a book. Call over your friends and family for some cocoa or some eggnog. Listen to your favorite holiday songs and sing along, and enjoy the decorations.
Laugh and be merry! Laughter has been proven to physically relieve stress. Watch some funny holiday movies or spend time with people who make you laugh. Go online and look up some joke websites. Go to Youtube and watch some funny and cute animal videos.
If going shopping is what stresses you out, shop for what you can online. Many companies will offer shipping discounts, especially this time of year. Big department stores will let you shop online, and then ship your order to the store for free, and then all you have to do is go to the customer service department at the store to get your stuff.