Tis’ the season to be anxious. And for many, stress is often one of the first ‘gifts’ of the holidays. Surprisingly, 80 percent of people surveyed admit they tend to ignore a rising stress level over the holiday season rather than take steps to manage it. This comes from research published by the American Psychological Association.
While recent world events have already stretched many middle-class Americans to the breaking point, the added hustle and bustle of the holidays is just the last in a long line of stressors. Crowded department stores, the rising costs of gasoline, gifts, and groceries, and the possibility of having to social distance from friends and family during the holidays are all contributors. It makes sense that stress levels are higher this year than they’ve been in the past.
Ignoring Holiday Anxiety Is Not the Answer
Unfortunately, ignoring anxiety is never the answer. In fact, if left untreated, anxiety can worsen, becoming a disorder that affects daily life. Symptoms of anxiety disorder vary among individuals, but common ones include:
- Feelings of nervousness, restlessness, and tension
- Obsession with the current stressor
What many don’t realize is that untreated stress leads to bigger problems, including mental illness, heart disease, and even autoimmune disorders. Emotional problems may become chronic physical ailments that impact quality of life. This is why it’s important to acknowledge and seek treatment for high levels of stress.
About the Professionals Who Treat Holiday Stress
Those who treat disorders caused by anxiety and stress are called mental health counselors. These professionals have earned masters’ degrees in fields relating to social science, behavioral science, or psychology. As such, they’ve received the training and licensure needed to help people work through their emotional problems.
If you’re interested in learning more about becoming a mental health counselor, there’s never been a better time. The need for these professionals is greater than it has ever been, and the job market is only expected to grow over the coming years. The Master of Marriage and Family Therapy program is a sound solution. Learn more today at Phillips Graduate Institute, a division of Campbellsville University, in Los Angeles.