December 12, 2012 –While the holiday season can be a time of
joy, many people can also find it stressful. Between planning events, attending
family and work gatherings and financial pressures from holiday shopping, the
season can certainly take a toll.
Dr. Katy Kamkar, clinical psychologist in the Work, Stress & Health and Psychological Trauma Programs at CAMH is available for interviews to
discuss the signs and symptoms of holiday stress and tips for balancing stress
during this holiday season.
Here are some helpful tips for coping
with holiday stress:
- Set realistic
expectations about what you can accomplish over the holiday season. Try to
establish some balance between what you do for others and what you do for
- If spending time
with family is stressful, set limits on the amount of time you spend with them.
- Consider sharing the
holiday meal preparations with friends and family to ease the load.
- Holidays can bring
up feelings of loss and a sense of being alone and disconnected. If you
have a friend or family member you can talk to, try to spend some time with
them or connect with them over the telephone.
- Some religious
organizations or groups have
special services for people who are alone during the holidays. This can be a
good opportunity to talk to others and meet new friends.
- The holidays can be
a tempting time to overuse alcohol and other substances in order to relax. For
someone with a substance use problem, this can be a particularly difficult time
with all of the socializing that occurs .The CCSA has put
together Canada’s Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines to help people reduce the harms
related to alcohol use.
- Volunteer your
services. Food banks and other organizations often need help at this time of
year. This is also a good way to meet new friends and help those in need.
- Give yourself
permission to feel any sense of loss or emotions that can surface during the
- Do something
enjoyable for yourself. See a holiday movie or treat yourself to a new book.
- If you experience
distress during the holidays, do not hesitate to contact your family doctor or
visit your local hospital emergency room. ConnexOntario operates three help lines that provide
health services information for people experiencing problems with gambling,
drugs or alcohol, and mental illness. It is free,
confidential and anonymous and
available 24 hours a day.
The Centre for Addiction and
Mental Health (CAMH) is Canada's
largest mental health and addiction teaching hospital, as well as one of the
world's leading research centres in its field. CAMH combines clinical care,
research, education, policy development and health promotion to help transform
the lives of people affected by mental health and addiction issues. CAMH is
fully affiliated with the University of Toronto, and is a Pan American Health
Organization/World Health Organization Collaborating Centre. For more
information, please visit www.camh.ca.
For more information contact: Michael Torres, CAMH Media
Relations, 416-595-6015 or firstname.lastname@example.org