University of Missouri Extension is research based information that is relevant, reliable, and responsive to the needs of our clientele. From home finance to nutrition and fitness, to agronomy, farm and business planning, to family dynamics, ...
University of Missouri Extension is research based information that is relevant, reliable, and responsive to the needs of our clientele. From home finance to nutrition and fitness, to agronomy, farm and business planning, to family dynamics, extension has information for you. The purpose of this blog is to inform and educate the community on programs and information that impacts your daily life. Sharing of this information should steer you in the path of increased knowledge and awareness of where to find answers to your questions.
Gail Carlson, MPH, Ph.D., former Health Education Specialist, University of Missouri Extension
True or false: Feeling let down, sad, tired or lacking in energy after the holidays is usually a sign that the holidays were disappointing, unpleasant or did not meet expectations?
Many people will answer “true” when asked this question. The holidays can be a time of joy, fun and excitement, but they can also be tiring, disappointing and tension packed. People sometimes feel blue or let down during or immediately after the holidays. It is easy to assume that these feelings are a sign that the holiday did not go well or that changes need to be made. That might be one explanation. However, that let-down feeling may be nothing more than your body's need to relax and recuperate after a very busy and hectic schedule.
During the holidays, there are many events, activities and people that act as stressors, causing stress overload. Some stressors are caused by negative events while others are the result of things that we look forward to. Stress can be caused by a single major event such as the disappointment that occurs when an unexpected ice storm keeps family members away from a planned gathering. Or it can result when little things pile up, even things we enjoy.
Negative stressors that can occur around the holidays are family arguments, disappointment over gifts, concern about spending too much money, loneliness, not being able to get home for the holidays, not enough sleep, too many people, etc.
But, events that we truly look forward to and enjoy can also be stressful — visiting with friends and families, shopping for and wrapping gifts, preparing food, decorating the house, too many parties and late evenings, overindulging, the added tension of having house guests, time constraints, the change of routine and pace, etc.
The body needs a chance to recover from stress. Without these rest periods, individuals are more susceptible to emotional tension and physical illness. There is also more risk of a breakdown in family communication.
It is important to remember that some people do become truly depressed during the holidays. Holidays are not a magical cure for people who are lonely and sad. The best gift you might be able to give someone who is depressed is the assurance that you don't expect him/her to automatically feel better because it is a holiday. Encourage involvement in holiday activities and events, but give that person some space and permission to leave when they feel they need to.
While some things are beyond our control, there are things we can do to keep holiday stress in check.