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The effects of Christmas on health can vary depending on an individual's perception of and reaction to the season, but in general, the holiday season can actually be detrimental to health. This can occur for a number of different reasons; first, people are more likely to eat and drink to excess during the holidays, which can lead to weight gain and difficulty sleeping. In addition, some people find that they get more depressed around the holiday season, or may feel increased loneliness or anxiety, which is another way that Christmas can have a negative impact on health.
Over indulging with food and alcohol are one of the most common negative effects of Christmas on health. People are more likely to eat unhealthy foods around the holidays, such as chips and dip, or Christmas cookies, just to name a few. These types of foods can cause weight gain and lead to increases in cholesterol, which could even contribute to heart disease; combined with overexertion from shoveling snow at this time of year, this could lead to a heart attack. Drinking to excess also leads to detrimental effects of Christmas on health, can contribute to feelings of fatigue throughout the day, and may also make car accidents more likely.
Some people also find that stress, anxiety, or feelings of depression increase around the holidays. This can occur for a number of reasons; individuals might feel pressured to spend money they don't have on gifts, they might feel lonely if they do not have someone to share the holidays with, or they might feel stressed about spending time with family. These are all examples of the potential negative impact of Christmas on health; on top of the overall negative effects of depression and anxiety, these conditions may also exacerbate the problems of drinking and overeating already discussed. Some people find that attending therapy can help them to deal with their feelings that arise during this time of year.
Of course, the effect of Christmas on health does not need to be a negative one. These negative effects can be mitigated by watching what one chooses to eat and drink, and consciously trying to make healthy choices throughout the season. Keeping up with exercise may also help reduce stress and anxiety. In addition, making a budget and trying to stick to it may be able to help with money related stresses; some people find that doing a Secret Santa gift exchange within the family is a good option, for example. This is because it allows people to buy a gift for just one person rather than for everyone in the family.