10 Holiday Stress Coping Strategies

With the holidays there is fun, but often also quite a few additional new stressors.

December 20, 2021

With the holidays there is fun, but often also quite a few additional new stressors. Family get togethers, shopping, crowds, decorating, gift buying and wrapping, cooking and baking as well as attending special activities. These can be fun but also place more demands on us. These extra demands can lead to extra or excess stress which = extra cortisol (the stress hormone).

  1. Reach Out. If you are lonely or isolated, seek out social communities. Look for small group classes, hiking and walking groups. Look for book clubs, card game get togethers in your area. There are lots out there.
  2. Be realistic. Even though your holiday plans may look different because of the pandemic or other issues, you can still find creative ways to celebrate.
  3. Acknowledge your feelings. It’s normal to feel a range of feeling, including sadness, grief and happiness during the holidays. All of these emotions are normal.
  4. Take a break for yourself. Find activities that clear your mind. That is different for everyone. Take a walk, go for a hike in nature, pop into a class, curl up and read a book, take a bath, take a nap…
  5. Keep up your health habits. Eat healthy nourishing meals, get plenty of sleep, maintain your regular exercise routine and make sure to take a breather from technology.
  6. Be budget savvy. Decide how much money you can afford to spend on gifts and food, and stick to it.
  7. Plan ahead. Good planning helps to combat last minute scrambling. You don’t have to organize every little detail, but have the basics covered.
  8. Learn to say no. Friends and colleagues will understand if you can’t participate in every activity.
  9. Take control. Recognize your holiday triggers, such as financial pressures, big family gatherings and take steps to help prevent or calm what you can.
  10. Get help if you need it. If you feel persistently irritable, hopeless or sad and unable to face your daily routine, talk to a professional.


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