Beating holiday stress
The ‘merry’ season can leave many people burned out
‘TIS the season to be jolly, yet many people are stressed out at this time of the year.
Societal pressures, family commitments or just being alone over the holidays can be enough to leave one tied in a knot. And then there’s having to work! Local industrial psychologist, Kavisha Naidoo, said that while societal pressure dictates that holidays should be about relaxation, togetherness and ease, it is far from that.
The “merry” season can leave people stressed out for countless reasons ranging from not having enough money to buy gifts, to not wanting to interact with family and friends with whom there is conflict.
Research has shown that women bear the worst of the brunt, she said.
“They are concerned about chores, shopping, etc., some women may even become very concerned about the nitty gritty of things like having the perfect Christmas cards,” said Naidoo.
It can also be stressful for people who have to work such as truck drivers, cashiers, those in retail, doctors and other professionals.
Also, the holidays can be lonely for those who have lost loved ones or are away from their families.
While it is difficult to juggle work and family, Naidoo advises those in a jam to ask for assistance and get additional Being at work during the festive season can be stressful. PHOTO: IAN CARBUTT help where they can.
“There is no perfect recipe to juggle work and home life demands.
“However, every individual has their own means to adapt and cope whether it is by exercising, meditating or asking for and receiving assistance. They can also have a caregiver to assist with the children, employ a domestic worker for running additional chores, do shopping in advance and also depend on spouses, friends or family,” she said.
She urged people to try and not use “unhealthy mechanisms” to cope with holiday stress such as sleeping less or being dependent on energy and highcaffeine drinks and medication.
“It is important to just consider that Christmas holidays provide some down time. Consider sharing the meal preparations or keeping things simple.
“Spend time with family and friends and/or invest in yourself by reading a book, catch up on an old hobby, walk or exercise, cook a new meal, do something novel.
“Do not beat yourself up if all does not go well,” she cautions.
Doctor Dan Moodley of St Anne’s Hospital explained the effects of stress on the body.
Results of “perpetual stress” include impatience, aggression, sweatiness, breathlessness, blood pressure and sudden death, he said.
Too much stress results in “burnout which is a state of fatigue or frustration brought about by devotion to a cause or way of life”, said Moodley.
The effects of stress can be emotional, mental, health related, physical, behavourial or organisational.
He added that stress-related disorders include ulcers, arthritis, hypertension, asthma, depression, sexual problems, strokes and diabetes.
One option to deal with stress is homeopathy. Homeopath, Dr Georgina Anne Makris, said that homeopathic remedies are based on minerals, plants and animal material.
“It’s in a diluted form that stimulates the body to get better,” she said.
Makris said that while homeopathy can help people deal with stress naturally, treatment has to be individualised by a professional.
She also recommends that stressed people take Vitamin B tablets and also perhaps Bach flower remedy rescue, which alleviates anxiety. [email protected]ness.co.za
There is no perfect recipe to juggle work and home life demands.