Tips for Managing Holiday Stress

managing holiday stress

Tips for Managing Holiday Stress

While many look forward to the holidays, others find the social and financial demands of the season or loneliness and grief during this time difficult to bear. Studies show that the holidays are often a source of increased stress and depression. Fortunately, there are many effective ways to manage holiday stress.

  1. Set realistic goals.

Every holiday does not have to be perfect or better than the previous one. Every season is different, and expectations should be flexible. As families grow and change, rituals and traditions are bound to change as well. Sometimes it may not be possible to celebrate together with your adult children or other members of the family. Look for new ways to enjoy the season together, such as video chatting, sharing pictures, or starting traditions that span distances.

  1. Look for support and companionship.

When you feel isolated and lonely, reach out to other community members or engage in religious and social events where you can find support and companionship.

  1. Set aside your differences.

Some of your friends or even family members may not live up to your expectations, but the holiday season may be a time to temporarily set aside differences if possible.

  1. Do not overspend.

Before going on a shopping spree for food items and gifts, prepare a budget that clearly shows how much money is available for you to spend. It will require discipline to stick to that budget, but remember, happiness cannot be bought with gifts. Be modest about your spending and only buy what you can afford. Some good alternatives include giving homemade gifts or starting a family gift exchange.

  1. Avoid the last-minute scrambling.

It is also important to avoid the last-minute rush by planning ahead. Set aside some days for visiting your friends, shopping, baking, and other important activities. Plan menus ahead of time so that you can be able to prepare your shopping list. This helps prevent scrambling to purchase forgotten ingredients at the last minute.

  1. Avoid overindulging.

Abandoning your healthy habits by overindulging will only add to your holiday stress and depression. Avoid going overboard on drinks and sweets by having a healthy snack before parties. Regular exercise and plenty of sleep should also be incorporated into each day.

  1. Get some quality time for yourself.

Try to spend at least 15 minutes alone in an area free of any distractions. This is an ideal way to feel refreshed before tackling important chores. Engage in activities that will help reduce stress by restoring your inner calm and clearing your mind. Some of these activities may include hitting the trails, listening to some soothing music, reading a book, or getting a massage.

  1. Volunteer your time.

Spreading holiday cheer to others, especially the less fortunate members of society, is a perfect way to attain fulfillment and also broaden your friendships with others.

  1. Seek help from a professional if you need it.

Despite your best efforts, you may still feel persistently anxious, sad, irritable, hopeless, or unable to handle your daily chores. Talk to a qualified psychologist or doctor whenever you feel like you cannot cope on your own.

Play an active role in managing your holiday stress. Understand your triggers, such as personal demands or financial difficulties, so that you can find ways of combating them before they become serious issues.

Dr. Sue Reddy understands what is required to live a healthy, active life. If you’re interested in taking a proactive approach to maintaining your health, give Dr. Reddy a call today. Her staff would be more than happy to set up an appointment and answer any questions you may have.