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How to deal with that holiday stress

The end of year festive season is a stressful time for many. Picture: Keenan Constance

By André Comrie

So here we are again, approaching the Christmas and New Year celebrations. For the kids, especially, it’s a time of anticipation and excitement, but for many adults not so much! In fact, a poll showed that more than 80% of us find it somewhat, to very, stressful. Add that to perhaps one of the craziest years most of us have ever experienced, and the days ahead look challenging.

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So what can we do to minimise and even prevent holiday stress and depression?

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Plan to do less! Yes, even of the fun things. There is such a thing as “eustress” which is the good stress that we need both for survival and for generating the sense of a zest for life, but even the good stress can get to be too much. We must choose what to do and what not to do, so as not to overstretch our capacity to cope.

For some, this is a time for loneliness, while others will seek out more time to spend alone and reset before new year. Picture: Warren Wong/Unsplash

Do a few of the most meaningful traditional activities and really enjoy them rather than try to satisfy the expectations of others and overstretch yourself.

We need to curb our spending, and our eating and drinking! The temptation to spend more than we should is high as we want to spoil those around us. It really takes a toll on our health when we do, though. And overindulgence provides very brief pleasure – most of us know very soon afterwards that it simple wasn’t worth it!

Too many people

What about people?! Having too many people around can be very stressful, especially for the more introverted among us. And being lonely also takes a serious toll. Somewhere we have to find a middle path that maximises our pleasure and minimises our stress. And “me” time is essential.

The introverted among us might find large gatherings stressful. Picture: Mona Masumi/Unsplash

Keep up with the good habits that you have developed during the year:
Eat wholesome meals (and continue to take your supplements!!);
Manage alcohol and tobacco intake;
Get enough sleep;
Exercise regularly;
Take a break from the news;
Practise deep breathing and meditation;

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The holidays should not be something we dread. If we are mindful about what we can manage, and enjoy that, we can find peace and joy – which is, after all, the intention.

It’s been a year like no other, and many are desperate for a break, to recover from all the chaos and stress. Picture: Matt Seymour/Unsplash

I wish all the readers of the Meander Chronicle a blessed Christmas and may the new year be a good one for us all.

**André Comrie: 084 596 3543


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