Are you suffering from holiday stress?

While the Christmas-New Year season can be fun with endless parties and weddings, it can also cause fatigue, anxiety and frustration

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People who are hyper often suffer from holiday stress

It’s often called the ‘most wonderful time of the year’. December-end brings with it not just Christmas and New Year’s Eve but weddings, sangeets, champagne soirees and non-stop celebrations, too. But while party-hopping is enjoyable, this period can also get distressing. Some might feel the pressure to look their best, while others get anxious about hosting parties or even catching up with so many relatives and friends. Holiday stress can cause exhaustion, body ache and even leave you feeling lonely.

Unhealthy lifestyle habits

This season sees a lot of celebrations and weddings which can get overwhelming to handle. Seema Hingorrany, clinical psychologist, explains that in psychological terms it’s called holiday blues. This is especially common in people with A-type personality, who like to be in control of things. “People who are hyper often suffer from this syndrome. They think they have so much to do and then when everything quietens down, the chronic fatigue starts.

Apart from feeling anxious and depressed, they suffer from migraines and body aches too. As a result, they don’t get to enjoy the celebrations,” she says. This is mainly due to people wanting to do too many things together and trying to please everyone. With the endless number of functions, most people over drink, don’t sleep enough, avoid their exercise routine and eat unhealthily as well. She suggests skipping a few functions instead.

Be well planned

Any change in the daily routine produces physiological stress. This can either be positive or negative stress. It usually depends on how a person perceives it. Dr P D Lakdawala, psychiatrist, Bhatia Hospital, says the best way to enjoy the holiday period is to ensure that you don’t overdo things. Time management plays a key role in ensuring that everything goes smoothly. “If you know you have to travel far to a party, leave before time. Keep everything prepared in advance. Do not keep things till the last minute. The best way is to keep a checklist of what you have to do to prepare yourself for the party and buy things that you need beforehand. For New Year parties, timely planning is imperative. If possible, organise house parties instead of going out to avoid the hassles of booking a restaurant and finding transport options,” he suggests. 

Avoid unrealistic expectations

As holidays come with a set of expectations, they have the potential to induce stress. Each one of us feels stressed at some point during our everyday lives — either at work, financial responsibilities, having to beat the traffic, paying bills, and more. The holiday season, in particular, adds to this as it involves taking charge of celebrations, arranging get-togethers, making time for shopping and feeling the pressure to spend more than one can afford. 

Psychologist Harsheen K Arora adds that in India, people tend to feel this stress more during the wedding season, where they struggle to achieve the ideal picture despite financial, emotional, and time constraints. “The holiday season brings with it a lot of positive emotions such as happiness, warmth, and love. When one chooses to focus on these aspects, they can turn their distress (negative stress) into eustress (positive stress). Also, not attaching unrealistic expectations to the holidays helps one enjoy the season for the joy of it instead of the commercial idea of it. Make the most of this season by spending time with friends and family, volunteering at a charity, and most importantly, taking out time for yourself,” suggests Harsheen.

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