Five Tips for Managing Holiday Stress

With all the costs, travel, expectations, and family responsibilities associated with the holidays, it is no wonder that 31% of Americans describe the holiday season as “frantic.” Here are some ways to minimize stress and maximize joy so you can better enjoy the holiday season:

Take a Deep Breath

  • Even with all the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, it is important to take some time to relax. Whether you take a yoga class, go a hike, meditate or journal, being mindful of your breathing has been proven to reduce stress and anxiety.
  • Research has also shown the effectiveness of aromatherapy in easing depression and providing comfort during moments of anxiety.

Get Outside

  • Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a sleep disorder linked with the lack of daylight. Prevent the winter blues by spending time outdoors. Need some ideas? Check out this list of active winter ideas.

Keep Your Finances Under Control

  • Make your list and check it twice before you hit the stores or go online shopping for Christmas gifts. This helps curb impulse shopping and provides an easy way to visibly see your holiday expenses.
  • American Consumer Credit Counseling provides this holiday budget expense tracker to help you stay as close to your budget as possible.

Be Kind to Yourself

  • It is okay to indulge in your favorite holiday treats, just be sure to do so in moderation. A glass of eggnog or a few pieces of your favorite fudge will not derail a healthy lifestyle.
  • Here are some ways to make healthier holiday choices plus a list of healthy holiday recipes.

Say “No” (It won’t make you the Grinch!)

  • Be realistic about how much time and energy you have. Say “yes” to events and activities that bring you joy and “no” to those that will cause you stress or anxiety.
  • Exchange FOMO (fear of missing out) for JOMO (joy of missing out) and savor those quiet holiday moments by yourself or with your loved ones. Often, the greatest gift you can give is time, so be selective in who receives it!

DYK: Holiday stress is disproportionally felt by women (44% of women vs. 31% of men feel that stress increases around the holidays)? Be sure to connect with our Women’s Health Resources to keep the rest of your life in healthy balance during the holiday season.

Want to dig deeper? Check out our mental health resources.