Every year it seems like you start December with a flawless game plan to survive the holiday season with enough sanity and rent money to make it into the new year. But every year no matter how much time you dedicate or family members you strategically start a fight with 2 days before Christmas to avoid buying gifts, it is never really enough. The Christmas season still stresses people the hell out. Especially Oklahomans, apparently.
A new report ranks Oklahoma one of most stressed-out states in the nation during the holiday season.
The report, published this week by the life insurance clearinghouse website termlife2go.com, analyzed the rate of online searches for stress- and anxiety-related topics in all 50 states during last year's holiday season.
"We identified that Google searches for 'stress relief,' 'psychological stress,' and related terms among Americans trended upward near the end of November and peaked mid-December," the report authors stated.
Oklahoma ranked third last year for search terms related to psychological stress, and second for terms related to stress reduction.
Now as a former university research assistant, I can tell you that a website like termlife2go.com is a completely trustworthy and evidenced-based program dedicated to conducting the most sound and ethical research of any institution. As a contributor for The Lost Ogle, you can probably also tell by my last sentence that I’m full of shit. The only thing websites like that are dedicated to is pulling as much B.S. causation from as little correlation as possible in order to give newspapers like the Enid News Eagle something to write about when lawmakers aren’t in session. Which thus gives me at TLO something to write about when lawmakers aren’t in session.
But in all seriousness, the holidays can be pretty darn stressful. While websites like The Mayo Clinic and the American Psychological Association offer truly helpful tips on lowering stress and keeping a positive mood during the season, here are what Oklahomans usually do instead-
They’ll pray about it
Let’s be real. Unless your mom guilt trips you into attending yet another niece’s baptism, Christmas is one of two days in the year that you actually attend church. If you aren’t busy pretending like you actually remember the words to “Angels we have heard on high” you are praying that Christmas ends without some obscure family member getting drunk and offending the religious side of the family.
They’ll get drunk and offend the religious side of the family
Many Oklahomans seem to numb their stressful feelings with booze over the holidays, while making the excuse that eggnog is only drinkable in December so they have to make it count.
They’ll spend too much money
This is because A) like I said, eggnog only comes once per year and B) You have to maintain your status as the favorite aunt/uncle
They try to make everyone happy but themselves
Rather than making memories with a quiet Christmas at home and letting the kids play with Santa’s gifts, they would much rather have their children remember a stressful day full of constant driving, irritability, and crying on both the parent and kid’s parts.
They accept that the holidays are supposed to be stressful