Why is stress so harmful and how can I stress less during the holidays?
Stress is directly linked to illness and fatigue. The holidays are a time of great stress for some people. While pregnant, you need to pay close attention to stress levels; minimizing stress is important to your health and the health of your baby. Follow these simple tips to de-stress and enjoy your holidays (and pregnancy!) this year:
Take and maintain control of your life
One of the main causes of stress is the loss of control. Maybe someone expects more of you than you can currently give or a family member is constantly asking for your help when you know you are just too tired and stressed to give them the help they need. If you take control of your life and put yourself first, you are less likely to feel physically and emotionally stressed. If denying other people that control over your life and time causes stress, try to find common ground. For instance, if a family member wants you to babysit while they shop for the holidays, agree to babysit, but make sure your spouse or other family member is available to help during that time to ease the stress.
Taking control of your life is also about letting go of that feeling of obligation. You need to listen to your body during pregnancy. Just because a family member or friend invites you to some holiday party or get together, don’t feel obligated to go. Be honest and tell them you are feeling a little under the weather and take a rain check. Remember, you’re pregnant so they’ll likely understand.
Talk about stress and emotional feelings before they get out of control
Leaning on a friend, family member or spouse is the best way to get out those negative feelings that often cause stress. Sit down for a cup of hot tea at your favorite coffee shop and let go of everything that’s bothering you during the holiday season. Don’t be afraid to talk about money issues, pregnancy issues, and emotional issues with the people closest to you. If you allow negative feelings to build-up, your stress levels will reach an all-time high.
Leave the holiday shopping behind and shop online
Shopping is one of the most stressful events during the holiday season. With tons of people flocking to purchase gifts, you may find yourself trekking from store to store with stress levels building with each trip. With your holiday gift list in hand, go online and enjoy a stress-free way to get all the gifts you need. Plus you get to avoid those stressful holiday crowds that populate the mall for weeks on end. No need to get trampled!
You owe it to yourself to enjoy the holidays just as much as everyone else. Pregnancy creates a unique set of physical limitations and emotional responses to stress that need to play an important part in how you deal with the holidays.
Home for the holidays
If you have kids already, you know very well that winter break can feel like years instead of weeks. Having the kids around the house when they're normally in school can be stressful. You've likely created a schedule around their school day, and now that they're home it can disrupt when you usually rest or have peace and quiet. This is a great time to lean on your partner or a babysitter to help keep children entertained and busy, either with activities around the house or small day trips in your area.
Far, far away
The best part about the holiday season is family coming together, regardless of distance. Odds are you may have to make a strenuous trip at some point this season to visit relatives, whether that be hours spent in the car, a train ride, or even a flight. Make sure to plan these trips in advance so you have ample time to accommodate your needs. Traveling on a whim can increase stress and leave you scrambling.
Depending on where you live, you may be facing the inevitable influx of tourist traffic to your area. In large cities during the holidays, tourists will populate most areas, backing up traffic and making it difficult to travel efficiently. This can be stressful, especially if it causes you to be late to your destination. In the height of tourist season, it's best to leave earlier than you usually do to reach certain destinations, in order to account for traffic and to avoid a melt-down on the way.
Your Holiday Pregnancy & Fertility Survival Guide
How to Trim the Holiday Tree While Pregnant
10 Tips When Your Baby Is Due During the Holidays
How to Enjoy Your Pregnancy During the Holidays
Getting Your Holiday Shopping Done While Pregnant
Holiday Excess Can Lead to Male Infertility
Dads Can Create Meaningful Holiday Traditions
Holiday Blues: Tips for Coping with Infertility
How to Dress for the Holidays with a Bump
Family Activities for the Holiday Break