12 Holiday Stress Buster Tips

Want to learn how to beat holiday stress?

With the onset of winter holidays comes the hustle and bustle of shopping, parties, family gathering, and numerous demands and obligations. While it can be a joyful time of year, it can also bring a lot of additional stress. Holiday stress can put a big damper on your celebrations.

Here are some tips to help you minimize stress as you move through the holiday season.

acknowledge your need to reduce stress

1. Acknowledge and honor your needs

For some, the winter holidays can trigger grief, traumatic memories, depression, anxiety and other challenging emotions. The colder weather and busyness can create added strain on the body. It is important to honor what you are feeling and tend to your needs. Repressing emotions or pushing through pain to meet holiday demands can make the situation worse. Seek support when needed and tend to your own self-care.

If you feel suicidal, call 1-800-273-8255

minimize holiday stress by sticking to a budget

2. Set a sensible budget

Overspending creates undue financial stress during the holiday season. Set a budget that you can afford and stick to it. Ideally, plan ahead. Create a separate holiday savings account and add to it throughout the year. Pick up gifts throughout the year to minimize excess spending during the holidays.

avoid overwhelm - don't over commit yourself

3. Say “No”

Extra obligations can greatly increase your holiday stress. You can’t do it all and it is not your responsibility to please everyone. Pay attention to your commitments and don’t over commit. Prioritize your time and energy. If it feels like to much, say no. Request help when needed.

get plenty of sleep

4. Get plenty of sleep

Don’t let the busyness of the holidays throw off your rhythms. Be sure to take good care of yourself, get adequate sleep. It will make a world of difference and help you cope better with holiday stress. As much as possible, stick to your regular sleep schedule. If you have trouble falling asleep, try some deep breathing exercises such as 4-7-8 breathing.

set clear expectations and boundaries to prevent holiday stress

5. Set reasonable expectations

Set reasonable expectations for yourself and others. Create clear boundaries with family and friends if they are making demands on your time and energy. Things don’t have to be perfect, and you don’t have to do it all. If it is too much for you, politely opt out. When you are feeling overwhelmed and need support, delegate responsibilities and ask for help.

eat and drink responsibly

6. Eat and drink responsibly

There’s lots of wonderful food and drink to enjoy over the holidays, but take care not to overindulge. Pay attention to how much you are consuming. Eat small portions. Watch how much you drink and include a glass of water between cocktails to keep you hydrated and prevent you from drinking too much. Be sure to have a designated driver or call Uber or Lyft to get you and others home safely.

reduce anxiety and stress through daily self care

7. Practice daily self-care

Self-care is essential to stress reduction. Make it a priority to have time daily to rest and tend to your self-care needs. Read, take a hot bath, go for a walk, enjoy a quiet cup of tea. Whatever helps you relax and unplug.

beat holiday stress by getting rid of stressful obligations and create new traditions

8. Let go of stressful obligations

Often during the holidays, people feel obligated to do things that they do not enjoy, creating unnecessary stress. Why spend the holidays being miserable when you can come up with fun, new traditions for you family that everyone will enjoy. Play games or have a scavenger hunt. Volunteer together. Do arts and crafts together. Be creative and have fun!

seek help if you are struggling

9. Get help when you need it

Get help if you need it. The winter holidays are very difficult for many people. The expectation to be happy and joyful can make it even harder when you’re struggling. You are not alone and help is available. Reach out to supportive friends and family. Seek out a therapist if you need to, or invest in essential self-care tools to help reduce stress and anxiety such as body or energy work.

If you are feeling suicidal, call 1-800-273-8255.

body and energy work are wonderful tools to reduce holiday stress

10. Receive regular body or energy work

Self-care is essential for stress reduction. Body and energy work are wonderful tools to help your body release stress, reduce anxiety and relieve pain.

take breaks, breathe, and meditate

11. Meditate and take breaks

Starting your day with a clear head will do wonders for reducing stress. When you first wake up, take time to meditate, simply focusing on your breath for 5-10 minutes. Throughout the day, take short breaks (1-5 minutes) and breathe deeply to release stress and overwhelm. While you are out shopping or at an event, if you start to feel anxious, take a few slow, conscious breaths to calm your nervous system.

get plenty of exercise

12. Exercise and move your body

Don’t let the holiday season interrupt your healthy habits. Exercise does wonders for reducing stress and elevating your mood, not to mention keeping your body fit. Schedule it in your calendar.

Holiday stress doesn’t have to get in the way of your celebrations this year. We are here to support you. Click here to schedule an appointment for a healing or coaching session to help you through.

Wishing you and yours a safe and joyful holiday season!!

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