Due to the intensified focus on family, work, and money, the holidays can be a stressful time for many people. Therefore, it is imperative that experts in the health field address issues like holiday stress and it is also imperative that Americans find healthy ways to deal with holiday stress. Research shows that unhealthy behaviors people use to manage stress can contribute to some of the country’s biggest health problems such as obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.
What’s stressing you out this holiday season? According to a survey done by the American Psychological Association (APA), 61% of Americans listed money as the number one stressor. Another 42% listed the pressures of gift giving as next, 34% lack of time, and lastly 23% listed credit card debt. This same survey showed that 81% of younger Americans are more worried about lack of money and 54% are more worried about gift giving compared to people over the age of 35. Everyone responds to their stress in some way, so the key is to handle stress in a way that it doesn’t make things worse.
This survey also showed varied ways people are dealing with holiday stress. One in five Americans stated that this type of stress can affect their physical health. Thirty-six percent of them surveyed said that they either eat (22%) or drink (14%) to cope with holiday stress. There were some who relied on exercise (45%) and religious and spiritual activities (44%) to relieve stress. Still yet, a small percentage of Americans surveyed stated that they turn to massages and yoga for relief of stress. So, as a result, it appears that how most people deal with holiday stress is that they turn to what they know—and ironically, the things that make them feel good instantaneously, like food or drink, can be dire for them in the long run.
The APA survey also illuminates the difference in how stress can affect men and women. Accordingly, it found that women are more likely than men to report heightened stress levels during the holiday season, and that they are less likely to take time to relax or manage that stress in healthy ways.
Therefore, here are some tips recommended by the APA for managing holiday stress:
- Define holiday stress….How do you experience stress? Does that experience change during the holidays?
- Identify holiday stressors….What holiday events or situations trigger stressful feelings?
- Recognize how you deal with stress….Determine if you are relying on unhealthy behaviors like smoking or eating to manage stress.
- Change one behavior at a time….Unhealthy behaviors develop over the course of time. Replacing unhealthy behaviors with healthy ones requires time.
- Ask for support….Accepting help from those who care about you and will listen to you strengthens your resilience and ability to manage stress.
Lastly, if you are experiencing stress because of the holidays, remain positive and utilize the tips listed above to deal with holiday stress and build resilience. Additionally, don’t forget to set realistic goals, keep things in perspective, take decisive actions and always take care of yourself because this keeps your mind and body primed to deal with stressful situations.
Summertime is here. School is out and children are spending more time at home. Do you know what potential poisons are in your household? Could you, your children, or your babysitter mistake a harmful product for a safe product? You may be surprised by how often these close calls happen!
You probably know how dangerous lead is, especially for children. Even low levels can have long term effects on a child’s development. The most important thing you can do is lessen your exposure or avoid lead exposure altogether.
The Mississippi State University Extension Service has been awarded $5 million to directly impact early-childhood education in the state by developing a new curriculum for children from birth through age 5. The funds will be used to develop “My Mississippi Adventures,” a developmentally appropriate, integrated curriculum to be used in licensed child care facilities.
The Mississippi State University Extension Service Head Start program is hiring for various positions in Harrison County. Head Start needs qualified candidates to fill positions including lead teachers, assistant teachers, a project coordinator, an educational leader, a floater, an administrative assistant, an office associate, an assistant cook and a custodian.
Mississippi State University will hold a Nov. 16 job fair to look for qualified people who love working with children and want to make a difference for them and their families. Positions are available for Head Start and Early Head Start teachers, assistant teachers, floaters, an education leader, an administrative assistant and an office associate.
At least half the childcare providers in Pike County, from Summit to the state line, are participating in free trainings scheduled and delivered by Don Smith, the Mississippi State University Extension Service agent in Pike County.
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LaTonya Hill dedicated herself to early childhood education as a college student, but an odd turn of events convinced her to open her own childcare center.
Head Start staff completes training to ensure safe, healthy foods
Washington County Opportunities Inc. Head Start/Early Head Start was forced to stop in-person services for much of 2020 because of the pandemic, but that did not stop its staff from feeding the children who are registered in the program.
Mississippi Small Businesses Receive Extension Support
When federal and state lending programs specifically geared toward small businesses were announced as part of the government’s response to natural disasters and COVID-19, Mississippi State University Extension Service personnel went into action to distribute information to Mississippi Main Street’s businesses, organizations, and farmers markets.