Do you have control over stress, or does it control you? With the holidays upon us, between shopping, events and parties, many may be feeling ovewhelmed. Here are some tips to cope with the hustle and bustle this season.
Stress and feelings of being overwhelmed are your body's warning signs and should be taken seriously. Sit down with a family member or a friend and have a heart-to-heart discussion about what's going on in your life. Consider everything from long work hours and deadlines to the stress of relationships with family and friends, holiday shopping and holiday parties.
Work together with your family and friends to create a plan to deal with the pressure and try to restore well-being. Some examples include:
- Only accept party invitations with people you want to spend time with. Don’t feel pressured to say “Yes” to everyone.
- Reduce long hours at work, set boundaries with relatives, friends and coworkers, and/or delegate projects.
- Refocus your mind and body: get a massage, visit a friend, and take a multivitamin daily.
Consider seeking professional help if your stress becomes all consuming and you begin feeling persistent anxiety or depression. A professional can evaluate your lifestyle and recommend treatments and stress-reduction techniques that can help with coping, enhance your immune system and protect you from future problems.
If you tend to feel down during the shorter days of winter, you’re not alone. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a form of depression that affects many people every year, usually in the fall and winter. Light therapy is the primary treatment for SAD in addition to medication and counseling. A simple home remedy is to get more exposure to sunlight, go outside for lunch, or, if possible, adjust your work hours so you get home earlier.
Learn about Ochsner’s Mental Health Services here or contact a professional near you.