12/20/2012 -- Many stressors occur during the holiday season and most of them are completely avoidable, according to Marine and Family Services experts, who recommend tips to eliminate holiday stress.
One of the most stressful things can be buying gifts, according to Stephanie Davidson, family advocacy program manager, Marine and Family Services, MCLB Albany. Figuring out the perfect gift for someone in time for the holidays is hard enough, but having to spend a lot of money is just as tough, she explained.
“We should get to a point where everything doesn’t have to have a price tag,” Brenda Ray, health and prevention coordinator, Marine and Family Services, MCLB Albany, said. “Give your services instead of material items. Be creative.”
Another holiday stressor may be having to prepare for family members and guests visiting for the holidays, Davidson said.
Ray advised trying to plan ahead so a person does not get overwhelmed. She recommends getting enough sleep and eating right.
“Manage your expectations,” Ray added. “Make decisions that are good for you. Don’t let yourself get too overwhelmed.”
Having too much stress can lead to searching for other ways to relieve stress, which can be damaging to a person’s health, she said.
When someone gets over stressed, it is common that emotions of sadness and depression arise, Ray said. If these emotions happen, a person could search for a way to ease these feelings.
“Many alcohol-related incidents happen during this time of year,” Davidson said. “Be mindful of what you consume and do not drink and drive.”
If feelings of sadness and loneliness surface during the holiday season, try to focus on something besides those feelings, Ray emphasized.
“I think one of the best ways for people to alleviate sadness or stress over the holidays is to do something for someone else,” Ray said.
There are people who are less fortunate in the area and there are several places to volunteer to help others this holiday season, Davidson said. She recommended lending a helping hand at a local soup kitchen or school.
For those who need help this holiday season, call Marine and Family Services at 229-639-5252.