All the holiday fun takes a lot of work. Shopping, baking, decorating, partying, traveling – the additional activities and needs take up time and money, putting pressure on already busy schedules and limited finances. People often eat more, drink more and sleep less. Sometimes, this season bring up feelings of loneliness, loss and grief. It can all be too much for our overloaded psyches.
Besides dampening the joy of the season, too much stress can affect our health. According to “Psychosomatic Medicine,” stress can produce secondary symptoms equivalent to complications from diabetes, hypertension or arthritis. Seventy percent of individuals who are stressed experience physical symptoms, lower productivity at work and disruptions in their family and social lives. Unfortunately, many physicians may misdiagnose the patient’s problem and prescribe medications for the symptoms, rather than recognizing the underlying problem. And of course, medications themselves can lead to unfortunate side effects.