The holidays. They are supposed to a time of togetherness, good cheer, and kindness. Unfortunately for so many people, this time of year is nothing more than a stressful, month-long headache. But why? Why do so many of us dread the holidays? Why are they such powerful headache and migraine-triggers?
Pain management experts say it all boils down to you: What about the holidays gets you down? Weeding through common triggers and pinpointing the true root of your stress can make a big difference in overcoming the sense of dread.
Here are 4 major reasons why people are plagued by headaches during the holidays — and it’s not just stress!
1. Unhappy memories.
A stroll down memory lane is not always a pleasant experience. In fact, going home for the holidays can make people remember old times that they would just soon forget. Childhood memories are sometimes more bitter than sweet. When this is the case, people may find themselves dwelling on what was inadequate about their childhood and what was missing. If people associate the holidays with a bad time in their life, this time of year will naturally force those memories to come flooding back.
2. Toxic relatives.
George Burns once said: “Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family in another city.”
Almost all families have at least one toxic relative and, unfortunately, the holidays can put you in the same room with that person. This the relative who always tries to instigate an argument or who likes to put others down. To deal with difficult family members, come up with 5 or so canned retorts to be used when unjustly interrogated, or compile a list of necessary exit plans should you reach the “about-to-lose-it” point.
3. Negative reflection.
As the year winds down, many people reflect on the year. They dwell on what has changed or what hasn’t. The holidays have a bitter way of highlighting a divorce or a death in the family. For others, it’s the monotonous sameness of family holiday gatherings that depresses them — the same faces, the same jokes, the same food on the same china plates.
4. Low immune defenses.
During the holiday season, you’re more likely to be stressed out by obligations and errands. It’s cold and flu season and your immune system is weaker than usual. Chances are you’re eating worse, sleeping less, and drinking more. By the time the family gathering rolls around, you’re worn out, tense, and fragile. The holiday stress makes it harder to cope with your family than it might be at other times of the year.
The holidays offer plenty of reasons to be stressed out and anxious — the gifts you haven’t wrapped, the pile of cookie exchange invites, the office parties. But for many, the biggest source of holiday stress is family — the family dinner, the obligations, and the burden of family tradition. And if you’re fighting headaches or migraines — the holiday stress can be a trigger for more serious problems.
About Pasadena Pain Management
Pasadena Pain Management offers pain management treatment for TMJ/TMD, migraine, headaches and neck pain in Pasadena, CA. Our office is conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At Pasadena Pain Management, we offer the exclusive TruDenta® treatment therapy — a highly specialized form of care that involves cutting-edge dental technology, without needles or injections. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable pain management care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping our patients happy and pain free.