HOUSTON - While the holidays can bring families together, it can also be a very stressful time.
KHOU 11 News mental health and wellness expert Bill Prasad says sometimes you can identify someone dealing with holiday stress by bad habits.
Prasad says some people may overeat, skip meals, skip their exercise regimen or smoke and/or drink more when they are under stress.
Prasad suggests those coping with holiday stress should plan and prioritize your schedule, ask for help with certain tasks, take some breaks and try to stay away from last-minute impulse purchases.
Additionally, Prasad suggests checking your expectations and making sure you're not set up to stress over clashes with your loved ones.
Below is a checklist designed to help you manage stress over the holidays:
Holiday Stress Inventory. How many boxes would you check?
Check each sentence that resonates with your own experience.
_____ My family members or I continue to carry out traditional ways of doing things, even if they cost too much money, time or effort.
_____ The holidays have become too commercial. It’s a turn off for me.
_____ I put myself under a lot of pressure to make the holidays perfect for my family.
_____ The holidays require a lot of hard work; the work isn’t evenly distributed among family members.
_____ I want to make the holiday special and meaningful for my loved ones. Too often they end up angry, frustrated or disappointed, instead.
_____ The holidays are way too hard on my pocketbook.
_____ Our family has been through big changes; things get especially tough during the holidays.
_____ I’m grieving the loss of a loved one; the holidays are particularly challenging because of this.
_____ Because I’m alone, or have a non-traditional family, I feel that the commercial depiction of holiday happiness leaves me out.
_____ I find myself overindulging in food or drink; I regret it later.
_____ I work full time, have big family and personal obligations. How am I expected to squeeze in all of the holiday preparation and activity?
_____ Those greeting card ads of perfect families having fun together make my own family come up short in comparison. Why can’t we look like that and get along like that?
_____ I feel pressured into making New Year’s resolutions and feel lousy knowing I won’t be able to keep them.
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