Tuesday 20 December 2022

Yes, Women Are More Stressed Out The Men Around The Holidays

Marla Ahlgrimm

Retired women’s healthcare entrepreneur and self-care author Marla Ahlgrimm spent four decades helping women master their own health. She says that it’s been her experience that women notice and experience stress more than men in November and December. 
But why? 
According to Marla Ahlgrimm, there are many different reasons that women feel more stress and strain over the holidays. One is additional family responsibilities. Although men were, historically, the hunters and gatherers, that role has switched to women, who tend to be the ones to grocery shop. Further, women are expected to create a beautiful spread around the holidays. Even those who don’t host at home are expected to bring beautiful dishes to each gathering, says Marla Ahlgrimm. 
Money is another matter of concern for women around Christmas. The average family spends between $800 and $1000 on Christmas gifts. Marla Ahlgrimm acknowledges that this might be a small sum for many families, but, for others, it can be a huge strain on their savings or, worse, credit cards. 

Women may also feel obligated to take more time off work to be at home with young children who are out for the holidays. Marla Ahlgrimm notes that men tend to be less likely to schedule winter break at home. 
Mitigating Stress 
Although feeling some added stress during even joyous occasions is normal, Marla Ahlgrimm says that there are ways women can reduce their internal burden. She suggests: 
  • Limiting holiday spending. We all want to give our children the best holiday possible. But Marla Ahlgrimm insists that children younger than preschool will likely not remember the holiday anyway. Tiny tots are just as happy with a secondhand toy as they are the latest and greatest release.  
  • Being frugal with meals. It’s a common misconception that eating healthy has to mean busting a budget. Marla Ahlgrimm says that staple foods, such as potatoes and brown rice, are easily the focus of any meal. She notes that meat does not have to be at the table at breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and Greek yogurt, hard cheeses, and eggs are perfectly acceptable proteins. 
  • Getting help. Let’s face it, Marla Ahlgrimm says we all like to think that we can do everything without assistance. But for our mental and physical health, we have to ask for help. There is nothing wrong with calling in favors or expecting a spouse to pull their weight when life gets heavy. 
  • Avoiding alcohol as a vice. Many of us will imbibe throughout the holiday season. Social drinking is typically not going to cause any harm, but Marla Ahlgrimm strongly cautions against using alcohol as a way to numb yourself from negative feelings surrounding the holidays. Not only can excessive drinking harm your body, but it simply masks a larger problem. 
  • Acknowledging loss. Many of us become stressed out over the holidays as we reflect on those we’ve lost. Holidays without a parent, child, spouse, or other person with whom we share life can be heart-wrenching and bring up all of our feelings of grief that we thought we left behind. Marla Ahlgrimm says to acknowledge this and get comfortable creating new traditions. 
Marla Ahlgrimm
The holidays are supposed to be a joyous time. But, Marla Ahlgrimm says that it is not always that way for women. Between added financial strain and unrealistic expectations, we tend to carry a burden greater than Santa’s sack. While there are many ways to lighten the load, Marla Ahlgrimm says those listed above are a great start.


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