Handling Stress During the Holidays

By on November 10, 2012

By Alice Burron –

Stress has been headlining health news as much as the uncertain economy is headlining the newspapers and many believe it is the underlying cause of many of our nation’s health problems.   It’s true—stress affects all of us, but it’s an individual concern, not necessarily translating to a national one since each of us handles stressful situations differently: some stressors are tolerated better by some than others. Moreover what may be stressful to you may be just a minor annoyance to someone else.

Stress is not the only health-sabotaging culprit out there, and it’s necessary and timely to put it in its proper place once and for all. Consider that from stressful situations we can often think more clearly and respond more quickly, which can then allow us to accomplish things we may not otherwise accomplish—such as performing in front of an audience, or rescuing someone from a fire. And, many times continued stress for a finite period of time can bring about resilience and increased ability to handle stress later on.

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But when stress starts to get in the way of performance, often exhibiting itself in worry, free-floating anxiety, and physical symptoms, it’s time to take control of the situation with some stress-managing and coping techniques. No matter what our situation is, each of us can control many of our life’s threats, but haven’t done so because of time, fear, or uncertainty of what to do next.

Over time, chronic stress can exacerbate and speed along the onset of existing genetic physical ailment tendencies, which then may reach the point of no return. For example, many experience rashes, eczema or hair loss after an extremely stressful event. But like a hinge that wears out over time, exposure to the physical and emotional stress can wear down the body’s natural healing mechanisms, slowing them down or rendering them ineffective. External symptoms may end up being the least of the problem, as the body combats the internal impact of the stressor as well.

There are very simple and effective strategies that can affect our mood immediately, such as evaluating and making appropriate changes to the environment around us. Then there are more complex strategies, such as learning to deal with difficult people, which can change the way we behave in stressful situations, and help us avoid further stress.

Because, by far, the most frustrating and prevalent emotional stressors revolves around people, it should require considerable attention in the strategy to managing stress. Creating a response plan that addresses people problems can bring clarity to people confusion by providing a clear final objective and a plan to get there.

Take the time this holiday season to create your own plan to handle stress by taking control of the areas you can control, and using stress to further you positively in your life journey.


This article was written by Alice Burron, co-author of the book Stress As Trigger, Your Body As Target. Alice Burron and co-author Dr. Arnold Burron will be presenting a free workshop called Handling Stress on November 28 at 6pm at the Laramie County Library. Books will be for sale for $10.00 for Step Up Cheyenne Maintain Don’t Gain participants, and is also for sale at SoapstoneFitness.com.

About Alice Burron

Alice Burron, one of the co-authors of the “Stress As Trigger, Your Body As Target” book, is a life-long student of health and wellness. Her experience includes worksite wellness, wellness coaching, personal training, writing, speaking and community wellness initiatives. She can be contacted at [email protected] The book can be purchased at www.soapstonefitness.com.

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Handling Stress During the Holidays