Holiday stress: How to recognize it and cope during this busy season


Christmas stress – busy woman wearing santa hat stressing for christmas shopping holding may christmas gifts in her arms. Funny image of Asian Caucasian female model isolated on white background.

This won’t surprise you, surveys find almost everyone is stressed during the holidays. We could all benefit from advice on how to recognize and cope with that stress. Here is more on the signs and solutions, this 7News Medical Watch:

Just about all of us have a Clark Griswold inside when stuck in a holiday checkout line, traffic or trying to put up a tree Christmas that just won’t sit strait.

But what that stress can do to your health is no laughing matter.

Dr. Melissa Santilli at Honey Dental says you may not even realize what it’s doing to your body.


For instance, she sees more patients during the holidays who don’t even know they’ve been grinding their teeth.

“They might notice when they wake up their neck is stiff. Their TMJ, their jaw joint could be tender. Sometimes their spouse might notice that you’re grinding so loud it’s waking them up,” said Dr. Santilli.

She recommends professional mouth guards not the cheap molds in stores, which she says, can be so thick they could actually make you grind more.


We all know stress can lead to a lack of sleep, and because of the strain sleep apnea can put on your heart, Dr. Santilli says you should undergo tests if you are constantly groggy.

“The sleep test that we do, it helps to identify whether or not they’re losing oxygen at night. So basically we try to figure out their snore relative to their body position like we want to see, are they losing so much oxygen at night that their body is jerking them awake,” said Dr. Santilli.


While your awake, stress can play out subconsciously through overeating and depression. Doctors recommend you avoid over booking yourself, let go of perfection, and listen for signs of anxiety in your body so you know to take a breath.


To prevent stress next month caused by overspending, keep to a strict budget for the holidays, and you’ll thank yourself come January.


Health experts say one of the best ways to reduce stress during the holidays is to make a point of noticing the little things that bring you delight and joy.

You can try something as simple as a nightly ritual of listing three things you’re grateful for that happened in your day. It can help you gain perspective that can get you through the stress.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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