For some Holiday Stress is a joyous fun time whereas for others it's figuratively the straw that breaks the camel's back. In addition to your already ongoing everyday stress, the holidays bring extra stress. Thus you are more likely to suffer from stress related issues such as stomach problems, headaches, hypertension, excessive eating, insomnia, anxiety...

To make sure the "camel's back" is not yours there are several things you can do:

1. Maintain your physical balance. To an already challenged world, holidays simply bring on additional challenges which make it easy to lose control of one's physical responses to stress. For instance, it might sound silly, but we forget to breathe deeply after we race a stranger to a parking space; we hold onto muscular tension after we rush from store to store; and we hold onto vascular tension after we beat the yellow light.

Why is holding onto these tensions a problem? Answer: Simply because it increases our chances of having unhealthy responses to stress. To maintain your physical balance, constantly remember to do deep breathing--it helps your whole body to relax. Yes, do lots of deep breathing while you rush from store to store, after the race to the parking spot, after the rush through the yellow light... Then double check as you are rushing about to see if your shoulders are hunched and tense, or your jaw tight. Take a deep breadth and relax them.

2. Maintain your emotional balance. Holidays bring additional exposure to emotional stress. You just had a disagreement with a sales clerk, missed the last game you wanted to buy for your son, can't figure out what to get for your significant other... And of course there's the ongoing everyday stress at work.

Let's add to all of this the stress of the family gathering. For some this brings on a challenge to get along with certain family members. Remember that the time exposure is limited to a few hours or days at most. Yet, let's not sell yourself out--no need to grin and bear it. Remember, if there are uncomfortable feelings, avoid getting into blaming or rehashing the past--it's finished and over. Simply speak only from your experience. Know that any negative feelings you have are owned by you and are a result of your perceptions. It's a good idea to agree to disagree as you may never perceive a situation the same as someone else.

Emotions of confusion, frustration, uncertainty, and in some cases, anger and upset can pop up at any time.

And for those who may have lost a beloved family member, or friend, or lover, the holidays are not a happy time which brings in despair and depression.

What do you do with these extra feelings and emotions?
1. It's more important than ever to maintain healthy eating habits. It's unfortunate that the cookies and cakes are often associated with the holidays. Minimize foods high in sugar, candy, coffee, sodas, and refined flour products like most baked goods... These foods and drinks tax your endocrine system magnifying your emotional reactions not to mention add pounds to your body over the holidays.

2. Maintain healthy sleep habits. It's tempting to squeeze twenty-eight hours into twenty-four hours to get in all the shopping and the responsibilities handled.

3. Remember for the reasons mentioned above that the holidays are not a happy time for everyone.

4. Before you emotionally react, remember to take a deep breadth and then count back from ten to one. This simple basic technique is very valuable for managing emotional stressors and may keep you from a useless disagreement.

5. Watch your consumption of alcohol at holiday functions.--don't use the holidays as an excuse to become inebriated.

6. Resist the temptation to use credit cards excessively. Establish a budget to plan your expenditures and finances.

7. No need to be Super Man or Wonder Woman. You are only one person--it's ok to say "no" to friends, family, and work associates if fulfilling their requests interferes with your exercise, eating, sleeping, financial status, and peace of mind.

8. If you find yourself being "under the weather," pamper yourself, take time off, take extra vitamins, and especially stay away from sugary foods, baked goods, sodas...

These eight tips will go a long way to helping you thoroughly enjoy the holidays and manage holiday stress effectively.

Author's Bio: 

Richard Kuhns B.S.Ch.E., NGH certified is a prominent figure in the field of stress management and personal change with his best selling hypnosis and stress management cds at and He aims to raise awareness as to how using basic stress management skills promote health. To find out more please visit