December 2015 / January 2016

Stress and the Holiday Season

Stress may be affecting your health, even though you might not realize it. That nagging headache, frequent insomnia or reduced productivity at work may each be related to stress. For many the holiday season comes with additional responsibilities at work, home and with expectations from extended family or friends. It is important to recognize when you are being affected by symptoms related to stress. Stress may have an impact on your body, your mood or your behavior.

Some common effects of stress on your body are: headache, muscle tension or pain, chest pain, fatigue, change in sex drive, upset stomach or sleep problems.

Some common effects of stress on your mood are: anxiety, restlessness, lack of motivation or focus, irritability or anger and sadness or depression.

Some common effects of stress on your behavior are: under-eating, overeating, angry outbursts, drug or alcohol abuse, tobacco use or social withdrawal. (Mayo Clinic)

Remember to take care of yourself by eating healthy, well-balanced meals, exercising on a regular basis, getting plenty of rest, and giving yourself a break if you feel stressed out or unwell.

Avoid drugs and alcohol. They may seem to help with the stress, but in the long run, they create additional problems and increase the stress you are already feeling.

If you think you may be depressed it is important to see your doctor for a referral to a counselor.

Dealing with the symptoms of stress can reduce stress and stressful situations. Spend some quality time relaxing with friends or family.

Have a wonderful holiday season.

If you think you may be having a problem related to alcohol or drug use call T.A.R.P. at 1-800-522-8277.