Awareness can counteract holiday stress

BATON ROUGE — The holidays are supposed to be a joyful time, but for many, this time of the year can bring stress and anxiety.

“Everything is red and green about the holidays, but a lot of people are experiencing the blues,” said LSU AgCenter family life specialist Diane Sasser.

Trying to achieve the perfect holiday can bring about worry and tension, Sasser said.

“For others sometimes stress sets in because this time of the year reminds them of the loss of family members,” she said, adding that the cost of the holidays can also be a burden.

According to Sasser, this time of the year people may feel overwhelmed, fatigued and sad. They may experience headaches and tension and have difficulty concentrating.

To tackle the blues, try to be aware of what you are feeling and why, Sasser said. Be realistic about the holidays, realizing yours may not match the idyllic images portrayed in advertising.

“Prioritize what it is you are trying to accomplish and focus on that,” she said. “It’s not about how many decorations you can put up or treats you can bake.”

Instead of overworking yourself in December, she suggests setting aside time to be with friends and family.

Eating healthfully this time of the year can also help you feel good about yourself. This month is also not the time to put your workout routine on hold. Be sure to get physical activity most days of the week.

“If you stick to your routine and get in workouts, the better you will feel,” Sasser said.

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