By: Red Hot Mamas
Published: December 12, 2012
The holidays are supposed to be a time of family, togetherness and joy. Instead, many people end up feeling fatigued, stressed and overwhelmed by the tasks, deadlines and activities rushing at us. This is particularly tough for those of us who are in menopause when common midlife pressures are compounded by holiday stresses.
The holiday crunch can rob us of the joy that we can be feeling during the holiday season. Midlife stressors may be exasperated by personal losses that we may also incur during this stage in our life. Common losses or life events that many experience during midlife include:
- Loss of a pet
- Loss of income, job and home
- Adult child leaving the nest
These losses or life events may exacerbate midlife stress during the holiday season, where emphasis is on family, togetherness, and honored family traditions. Accumulated losses may pile up leading some to become overwhelmed with anxiety, sadness, and depression (the midlife blues). It is not uncommon for one loss (child not coming home for the holiday) to compound another (parents death).
The psychological purpose of the midlife blues appears to make us reflective of our past and thoughtful of our future. It forces us to deal with the most complex of life’s issues and pushes us to look at who we are and who we want to become. Although you can’t avoid stress altogether, you can find healthy and effective ways to manage it.
Instead of scampering through the events life has laid out before you, take the time identify and prioritize what is important in each of these life chapters. This strategy helps you to keep your eyes always focused on balancing your long standing goals and dreams. If symptoms associated with stress persist and interfere with your ability to concentrate or perform, talk to your doctor about alternative options and personal guidance.
Tips on Coping with Stress
- Learn to recognize the source of your stress and try to reduce/limit amount of stress you incur whenever possible
- Learn to recognize your feelings
- Seek support- Seek out relationships that nurture you
- Eat well
- Exercise- Exercise can relieve tension and lift your mood
- Get enough sleep
- Feed your spirit- Develop old interests or explore new ones
- Practice stress reduction techniques- breathing, meditation, yoga
- Seek help- If your stress is overwhelming in your life there are many resources available to help you
Untangle the stress this holiday and try to embrace the changes that occur in this chapter of your life. Take charge by dictating how you will spend this time of your life. Make being happy a priority. Life isn’t over, it is just beginning!