"As the holiday season approaches, many of us begin to look forward to spending time with family and friends, and to sharing in the joys of the season. However, for people who have been exposed to a traumatic event, the holiday season may bring up negative feelings. Especially at this time of year, thinking about loved ones who have died can be painful—particularly for those who have recently lost someone.
Even for people who have not been exposed to trauma, the holidays can be a stressful time. Besides the stressors of buying gifts, travel expenses and hassles, and family interactions, the short days and lack of sunlight in winter can trigger bouts of depression and seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Findings from a 2008 poll on holiday stress conducted by the American Psychological Association, revealed that eight out of ten Americans anticipated stress during the holiday season. In the APA's 2012 Stress in America survey it was found that 69 percent of Americans attribute their stress to money related concerns and 61 percent attributed stress to the economy." Source: National Child Traumatic Stress Network
According to the American Psychological Association (APA), "Heightened stress during the holidays can lead to unhealthy stress management behaviors, such as overeating and drinking to excess. People tend to reduce their stress in ways they have learned over the course of time because they turn to what they know. You may take comfort in unhealthy stress management techniques just because they’re familiar, even though they’re not good for your health."
Resources to Address Holiday Stress:
10 Tools for Dealing with Holiday Stress and Depression Source: Goldsmith, Barton. December 2011. Psychology Today
15 Ways to Handle Holiday Stress When You Have Cancer Source: What Next
Coping with the Holidays. Psych Central provides several articles and resources.
Home for the Holidays Tips for overcoming holiday anxiety and stress. By R. Morgan Griffin
Managing Holiday Stress: Source: Cleveland Clinic
Making the Most of the Holiday Season Source: American Psychological Association
Resources for Holiday Stress Source: National Child Traumatic Stress Network
Stress, Depression and the Holidays: Tips for Coping Source: Mayo Clinic
Tips to Handle Seasonal Affective Disorder Source: American Psychological Association
Tips for Parents on Handling Holiday Stress. Source: American Psychological Association