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BellaOnline's Stress Management Editor

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How to Control Holiday Overindulge


Holiday stress can trigger depression, generalized anxiety and overindulgence. Stress can make you withdraw from others and contract as a person, feeling less than. On the other hand, overindulgence is the frenzied side of stress – partying, feasting, drinking and substance abuse. In other words, the sword turned inward or the sword turned outward both are harmful fraught with terrible consequences.

Typical holiday stress like feeling lonely or mourning a lost relationship as well as conflicts with difficult family members are intensified during this season of peace, love and compulsory togetherness. In addition many experience financial difficulties because they are overextended during the gift giving season. Keep in mind that the days are shorter, but the to-do list is longer. Sleep, exercise and healthy eating fall by the wayside because stress has a tipping point and can overwhelm, making you feel numb. So, you overindulge to temporarily assuage all that stress, but that good feeling does not last; in fact, you feel worse afterwards, hurled into a downward spiral.

The consequences of overindulgence:
  • You eat too much sugar which induces fatigue, slowing you down even more, while wreaking havoc on your immune system which makes you prone to colds and aches and pains.
  • You overeat at the holiday buffet which makes you feel guilty about gaining weight which ultimately erodes your self-confidence. When you feel unattractive and annoyed at yourself, you see mostly the negative attributes of family and friends. Ironically, you might be the difficult one!
  • You drink too much and suffer from a hangover the next day. Your work is affected in two distinct ways. You worry about what you said to colleagues and the boss while you were imbibing. Also, you feel so lousy the next day that you call in sick when everyone knows that you are really hung over. What does that say about your work ethic?
  • You spend way too much and go into debt for months to come.


How to handle the holiday blues:

  • Maintain a healthy body with exercise, balanced quality eating, and sleep. Drink plenty of water and eat fiber. This is a non-negotiable.
  • Nurse that drink and sip it at the office party. You know your limit, so stick to it. Pretend the cocktail party is part of your job interview and you are being evaluated.
  • Simplify your schedule and to-do list. Don’t get depleted or let yourself get to the point where you feel drained. Prioritize and lose the end of the list. We take ourselves far too seriously.
  • Gift giving needs to be simplified. Give experiential redeemable coupons of yourself. For example, “This entitles the bearer to a backyard barbecue.” If you have a hobby, create gifts for your family and friends.
  • Upbeat holiday music is a great mood lifter. Did you know that singing works even better?


For more information on managing your stress and reclaiming your life read my book, Addicted to Stress: A Woman's 7 Step Program to Reclaim Joy and Spontaneity in Life. To listen to archived radio shows with guest experts visit Turn On Your Inner Light Radio Show


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Content copyright © 2014 by Debbie Mandel. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Debbie Mandel. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Debbie Mandel for details.

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