Holiday stress is always tough, but for some of us it can actually be detrimental to our health. A recent survey from DrugAbuse.com looked at 2,000 respondents to see how they were affected by the holidays. While it's supposed to be a time of happinesses and togetherness — and for some people, it certainly is — between financial pressures, family tensions, and so much to do, a lot of us find that anxiety, stress, and depression are higher during the holiday season.
And it's good to be aware, so you can do your best to protect yourself and try to keep happy. What can you do? First and foremost, take care of yourself. “Good self-care is especially important when managing high stress situations," Dr. Grant Brenner, M.D., a New York City-based psychiatrist and psychoanalyst and co-author of Irrelationship, tells Bustle. “... because it supports resilience to and recovery from the stress.” Self-care can look different to different people. Whether it's making time for exercise, a phone chat with a close friend, or just giving yourself an opportunity to be alone, it will help you help yourself.
But it's good to know how it affects you, so you can start trying to keep positive early. And, remember, for people who struggle with drugs and alcohol, it can be even more difficult.
You can find the full breakdown at DrugAbuse.com, but here are the highlights. about how the holidays affect our health, because it's harder if you're a millennial:
1. Nearly 30 Percent Of Us Drink More Alcohol
Nearly 30 percent of us drink more during the holidays, which can totally be innocent fun. But alcohol is also linked with depression, anxiety, messed up sleep and, of course, hangovers, so you need to make sure you keep your indulging in check.
2. ... And More If You're A Millennial
If you take a closer look at that chart, there are two interesting things. One, millennials are more likely than other groups to drink more over the holidays. But, even more than that, while 42 percent of men drink more than usual, 48 percent of women do— that's basically half. So Millennial women are extra likely to drink more than usual, and maybe too much, so be careful to watch yourself.
3. There's More Anxiety
Twenty percent of us feel "overwhelmingly anxious" and it's no surprise that finances are the number one reason. The holidays are a really expensive time and well, student loans are crippling so many of us. But strained family relationships, missing passed away family members, and even just being lonely can make it a really difficult time.
4. 35 Percent Of Us Are Happier, But 25 Percent Of Us Are More Depressed
Thirty-five percent of us feel happier during the holidays, which is amazing and what the holidays should do. But for over a quarter of us, it's a more depressing season. So if you get the holiday blues, you're not alone.
5. And Nearly 20 Percent Are "Overwhelmingly Stressed"
"Overwhelmingly stressed" is definitely a bad way to describe the holidays, but for almost one in five that's exactly what it is. And almost 65 percent feel "moderately stressed", so that's a huge part of the population ready to burst. We don't deserve it.
So what can you do? Know that the holiday season is stressful, try to keep the drinking under control, and remember in a couple of weeks it all be over. The less you engage with it and let it stress you out, the better off you'll be.