Niagara Gazette

Columns

December 18, 2013

BRADBERRY: Don't let stress ruin Christmas: Ten tips

Niagara Gazette — Your chances of suffering a heart attack or confronting domestic violence during the Christmas season soar by at least one third according to studies published around the world this week.

One report is the result of a study conducted by insurers who compared medical data from the last four years and discovered that “from 2009 to 2012 there was an average of 40 admissions to hospitals on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day for heart attacks, compared to an average of 30 for the rest of the year.”

Peter Rowohlt from DAK-Gesundheit (really), the group that reported the findings said, “The culmination around Christmas in all four years one after the other is very striking.” He also notes that Christmas Eve in Germany appears to be particularly bad for men’s health.

Stress, both from personal lives and careers, were the main reason behind the increase, according to their findings. Shopping for presents, organizing events, and especially, trying to fulfill all of the expectations of family and friends all add to the stress we’re already experiencing from the struggles of coping with the challenges of daily life.

Christmas should be a happy and joyful time, but not everyone experiences the holiday the same way; Christmas can be a very depressing time for many people for many reasons as financial pressures, isolation, family tensions, separation, divorce, bereavement and memories of better times can all add up to ruin your, and your loved ones Christmas spirit, or worse.

Sadly, according to some experts in the field, domestic violence escalates during the holidays. Preparation pressures and fulfillment expectations can cause our energy levels to soar, tempers to flare, long-simmering arguments to boil-over leading some situations to explode into domestic violence including extreme verbal and physical abuse.

Exacerbating an already stressful situation by adding festivities and parties that include intoxicating beverages, drugs, and the “wrong combination” of certain people, friends, co-workers and family members can contribute to the likelihood that you might be physically if not emotionally injured in what could become potentially violent holiday explosions.

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