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Dec 01

Overcome Winter Stress

The holiday season is here, and with it comes the beginnings of winter stress.  It seems like the colder months are almost always the most stressful, but it isn’t always due to the many major holidays that occur in this season.  Sometimes the weather is very stressful.  It can snow so much that you’re trapped in your home, or the roads can become incredibly icy and dangerous.  Then there’s the cold itself—it affects people in a number of ways, including making joints ache.  Seasonal Affective Disorder can also affect people in the winter because of the lack of sunlight.

So what can you do to overcome winter stress and have a happy holiday season?  Well, there are a number of things.  First of all, don’t let the holidays ruin the holidays for you.  That might sound a little odd and confusing, but think about it.  How many times do you get stressed over preparing the holiday meal, buying gifts for everyone, and decorating?  Why should the holidays cause so much stress when they’re supposed to be a time of joy and togetherness?  Don’t let the holidays get you down!  If shopping is stressful, try staying and home and shopping online so you don’t have to deal with the crowds.  Stressed over what to buy someone?  Remember it’s the thought, not the gift, that counts.  Many people are truly happy with gift cards to restaurants or stores.  It’s not a bad gift, and it shows that you care just as much as any other present. 

Cooking doesn’t have to be stressful, either.  One way of alleviating the stress here is to get others involved.  Have your children help set the table and prepare easy dishes.  Your spouse can help with the cooking.  You can also ask a few of your guests to come over early and help prepare the meal.  Many families enjoy working together to make their lovely holiday feast.

If the weather is the cause of your winter stress, there’s not a whole lot you can do to directly change it.  If you have the means, you can visit another, warmer location for the coldest months.  However, that’s not an option for most people.  Instead, prepare for the winter by purchasing an electric blanket for your bed.  You might also get a space heater for your office or bedroom.  These small heaters can really warm up an area and don’t cost nearly as much as turning up your thermostat does.  Another option is to purchase one of those “blankets with sleeves” like the Snuggie.  While some people make fun of them, they really can keep you warm during the winter!

The winter months may bring stress, but they also bring times of joy and happiness.  Good times with family during the holidays, playing in the snow, and looking at the beauty that winter brings are all things we can do to help relieve winter stress.

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