Dealing with stress during the holidays

TULSA - With Christmas over, many people dream of getting back to normal life, but that is easier said than done for many.

Bowden McElroy, a licensed Tulsa counselor, said the three things that stress people out the most during the holiday season are grieving the loss of a loved one, neglecting one's own health and having unrealistic expectations.

McElroy said grieving can include having to celebrate the Christmas holiday without a loved one, whether because of death or divorce.

McElroy said when it comes to neglecting one's own health, people often skip exercising, tend to overeat and do not get enough sleep.

As for having unrealistic expectations, McElroy said the problem stems from a lack of communication and planning with others before gathering to celebrate the holidays.

"I'm guessing most of the time that little pre-planning and pre-communication will solve a lot of problems," said McElroy.

Some of the signs of stress include being easily irritated and making a major fuss over a minor problem.

Experts advise the best thing people experiencing stress can do is to reach out to someone.

They also encourage people who observe someone dealing with a lot of stress to also reach out.

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