Webster’s Dictionary defines stress as the “physical, emotional or mental state of strain or tension.”
The holiday season is the most anticipated time of the year, yet why does it seem like most people are on edge and become exceedingly stressed?
The winter season brings a spirit of giving and thankfulness with holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas.
However, the holiday season also ushers in the end of the fall semester for most students, as well as a financial strain for some families.
With the end of the semester approaching, students are staying up later to finish various projects and papers, which in turn causes students to lose sleep.
Sleep deprivation then creates stress due to one’s inability to work efficiently and an increase in emotional reactivity.
This can cause harsh reactions to those around you, creating unwanted tension and conflict.
From the short-term perspective, staying up later to finish that paper or study for an hour more may seem like the smarter decision.
However, in the long run, studies have shown that sleep deprivation causes concentration problems as well as a weakened immune system.
By staying up later, especially in order to study, it is decreasing the ability to perform well on that test or final.
In order to perform to one’s ultimate capability, it is recommended by countless doctors to get between 7.5 and 8.5 hours of sleep a night.
With the holiday season comes the stress of giving. Presents cost money; money that most people, especially in the current economy, do not have.
Children, friends and family expect an extravagant amount of gifts, while the gift-giver begins to feel the stress of living up to other people’s expectations.
Students feel the stress of money mostly due to their lack of income and the responsibility of paying for college.
With the overwhelming reality of adding a dozen or more gifts at about $20 a piece to one’s budget, most students scramble to find a suitable and cost-friendly substitution.
Remember to just give kindness, as Matthew 7:12 states: “Do to others what you would have them do to you.” This perfectly captures how it is best to try and get along with that annoying relative and treat them the way you want to be treated during the holiday season.
No matter what form stress may take in your life, it is not healthy and often causes major problems mentally and physically.
With all of the added stress around the holiday season, students need to learn to find time to take a step back from the hustle and bustle, relax and enjoy those in their life.
The holidays are a time of cheer and relaxation after a stressful year, not a way to add yet more stress to one’s life.
Enjoy holiday season, take time to relax, enjoy other’s company and focus on your health, both physically and emotionally.