10 Tips for Managing Stress Around the Holidays

The holidays are supposed to be fun filled times with loved ones, right? Well, for a lot of people, that is wrong. Holidays can trigger anxiety, stress, and overwhelmed feelings due to the increased demands on our time, schedules, and finances. Here are some tips for managing stress during the holidays:

  1. Practice Self-Care

    If the holidays trigger stress for you then it’s even more important to be practicing self-care and sticking to your self-care routine. Be intentional about scheduling self-care into your weekly routine. Make a list of the things that bring the most stress relief for you and schedule it.

  2. Get Adequate Sleep

    I know this might seem like a no-brainer, but sleep is one of the most important things to help us manage our stress and regulate our emotions. Make sure you’re getting the sleep you need.

  3. Prioritize What’s Important to YOU

    Sometimes family and loved ones put pressure on us to do things they want us to do during the holidays, and this can cause a lot of added stress and overwhelmed feelings. Get honest with yourself about what is important to you, and what you want to prioritize this holiday season.

  4. Watch the People Pleasing

    If you’re a people pleaser, it’s really easy to get caught up in what what others want from you during this time of year. It’s fine to please others to a certain point, but if we notice that we are pleasing others to the point that we are sacrificing our own needs, then the people pleasing is a problem. When someone asks something of you, before automatically saying YES, really reflect on what they are asking of you and check in with yourself to see if this is something that is okay for you to do.

  5. Create a Budget and Stick to it!

    The holidays can create a lot of financial stress due to all the gift giving that happens around this time of year. If you feel stress and anxiety when you think about the financial obligations of the holidays, then it would be helpful to create a budget and stick to it. Create a budget that feels healthy and reasonable for you.

  6. Schedule Down Time

    Scheduling down time to rest and recharge is another way of managing stress around the holidays. Schedule some down time into your week and make sure it’s time that you can relax and do things that help you recharge.

  7. Get Moving

    If you’re prone to depression or seasonal affective disorder around the holidays, then getting regular exercise can help you feel better. Exercise can treat mild to moderate depression just as well as medication. Try scheduling some exercise and get your heart rate up!

  8. Acknowledge Your Feelings

    The holidays an trigger depression and grief for a lot of people. If this is your experience, it’s really important to acknowledge your feelings and process them instead of stuffing them down. Talk to someone you trust, or try journaling as a way of getting the feelings out. You can also schedule an appointment with a therapist to help you process through the feelings.

  9. Ask For Help

    The holidays are stressful times and sometimes we feel as though there isn’t time to get everything done. Remember that you don’t have to do all of the holiday planning and prepping yourself. Assign certain duties to your family members and loved ones, and ask for help if you need it!

  10. Be Realistic About Your Expectations

    Sometimes we hope for the holidays to be a certain way, or go the way they did last year. Having unrealistic expectations can set ourselves up for disappointment. Remember to consider what you can control and what you can’t control. If you find yourself wanting certain things that are out of your control to be a specific way, it might be helpful to let go of those expectations and focus only on what you can control, which is your own behavior.

I hope these 10 tips are helpful in managing stress around the holidays. Stay well and healthy and reach out anytime!