Set goals to manage holiday stress
Stress can make you feel overwhelmed and helpless, especially during a time of year when you have to balance many competing demands from work, family, and social events. The National Institute of Mental Health recommends coping with these stressors by setting clear goals for your holiday season.
Studies have linked setting goals to fewer depressive symptoms and lower levels of stress. By identifying concrete goals, you create a feeling of control over the hectic pace of the holiday season. This helps you manage your time, identify your priorities, and say “no” to things that are less important to you.
Lower stress levels with quality sleep
Travel, holiday parties, and all-day family events can disrupt your normal routine, but you shouldn’t allow them to disrupt your sleep habits. Getting high-quality sleep is linked to lower stress levels, while disturbed sleep is associated with higher levels of chronic stress.
Adults should aim for seven to nine hours of sleep per night. The CDC advises avoiding electronic devices, alcohol, caffeine, and large meals before bed to improve your quality of sleep.
Children especially need the familiarity of routine. If you have children, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends sticking to their normal eating and sleeping schedules as much as possible. This will protect their mental health and improve their moods, which will reduce your own stress levels.
April 02, 2020
Janet O’Dell, RN