Enjoy the holidays, avoid the stressBy Veita Bland, M.D. / December 28, 2016
Share this article:If you celebrate Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa or even choose not to celebrate, the holidays can be a time of immense stress for many people. This stress can be extremely harmful to one’s health.
The expectations of wanting the perfect holiday is often the cause stress-from the pressure of planning to the pressure of trying to execute a perfect day. Stress can also come from over spending. Financial planners suggest trying to save a few dollars each month during the year and trying hard not to over spend. Don’t let the pressure of giving to the kids put you in debt. Experts say be honest, tell your children what you can afford. They also say that children enjoy your company and scheduling time to be with them throughout the year is healthier than straining the budget.
Stress may also come from having to be around people you really do not like. We see a lot of family discord this time of the year. You can avoid those people or you can decide to endure those people. Remember, there is a choice and that should empower you to make better decisions about your interactions with them.
Overeating is a major problem. You may have a great time packing on those pounds but what does that do to your health? How will you lose the weight? Try to practice moderation and try exercising such as walking even in the cold or going to the gym. It is much better to avoid gaining those extra pounds.
Alcohol can be a problem this time of year and not just for those who have a drinking problem. People who normally do not drink but drink at a social gathering may find that they overestimated how much alcohol they can hold. Now is not the time to find out your limit.
Be careful at home. During this time of year, there is usually an uptick in emergency room visits. Adults should take caution and avoid accidents at home while hanging lights or completing other home holiday projects.
Children are especially vulnerable this time of the year. Keep a watchful eye on them as they learn to use new toys, bikes and scooters. Children are usually so excited they forget to be cautious.
Watch out for choking hazards with young children, such as hard candies or consuming foods and drinks they should not eat.
Watch for signs of depression in yourself and others. Unrealistic expectations and that holiday letdown can trigger depression. If you see it in a friend, try to get them to open up about it. Try to support them through this and remember that help is available.
If possible, invite those who are alone to join your group. Remember those who have lost family and friends. They may need a family to join. Family does not always consist of blood relatives. It can be a group of people that simply care for each other.
The holidays come with excitement, expectations, strong religious meaning for some and commercialization for others. The holidays should also be a time to reflect upon what anchors one’s life.
Dr. Veita Bland is a board certified Greensboro physician and hypertension specialist. Dr. Bland’s radio show, “It’s a Matter of Your Health,” can be heard live on Wednesdays, 5:30 p.m. on North Carolina A&T State University’s WNAA, 90.1 FM. Listeners may call in and ask questions. The show is replayed on Sirius 142 at 5 p.m. on Wednesdays. Email Dr. Bland at firstname.lastname@example.org.