Keeping stress down
during Winter Holidays
It’s supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year! But even for the most Elfish folks among us, the holidays can quickly become stressful when you feel yourself stretched to the limits with shopping, programs and events. Don’t let the pressure become too much. Here are some helpful hints provided by Pocahontas Memorial Hospital’s Behavioral Health Clinic to keep stress low and the holidays joyful:
• Pay attention to your mood and emotions. Recognize when you are feeling irritable, downright grumpy, or anxious. Take a step back, breathe, count to ten. Control your emotions instead of letting them control you.
• Set limits. Sometimes you have to say no. Be realistic about how many commitments you can take on this time of year (and all the time, for that matter). If you find yourself too tired and too overwhelmed to enjoy the holidays, you might need to stay home and relax by your own Christmas tree.
• Watch what you eat. Everyone talks about needing the nap after an occasional overindulgent meal; but with an entire month with an abundance of sugar and carb-laden goodies, you may find yourself feeling particularly sluggish and tired. Keep your sugar, carb, caffeine and alcohol consumption in check.
• Exercise. Take a walk or visit the Wellness Center. Exercise not only helps with the holiday weight gain, but improves your mental and emotional outlook, as well.
Many people report feeling particularly sad or down during the holidays; but if you feel you could use some support in the New Year, please contact our Behavioral Health Clinic.
Amy B. Mitchell, PhD, LICSW, CAADC is our clinic director and is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker, as well as a Certified Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor. Dr. Amy stresses that being nervous or anxious about family or social gatherings during the holidays is a temporary condition and is one that you can control. Call Dr. Amy for a free screening, refer a patient, or self-refer today at 304-799-1075.