If you’re feeling holiday stress, you’re not alone. The holidays are full of expectations and extra obligations, making it hard to fully relax and enjoy them. However, there are some simple things that anyone can do. Try these tips for holiday stress
1. Get organized before the holidays.
The holidays can be a time of tight schedules, busy roads, and grocery stores with long lines. A big part of managing holiday stress is spreading out obligations to avoid being overwhelmed. So if you can get an organized start to the holidays, you’ll be much less likely to feel anxious down the road. Make a list of everything that needs to be done in preparation for the holidays and how long each task will take. Then, write down who can help you with those tasks and what requires a higher priority. And remember — you can’t plan for everything. Expect the unexpected and embrace it when it happens.
2. Give yourself a break from social media.
Social media can make the holidays stressful and hard on mental health. It’s easy to get caught up in your friends’ lives, comparing yourself to the perfect photos they post. It’s also easy for something you read on social media to make you feel bad about yourself or your day-to-day life. Try to unplug by not checking your phone as often. One way to do this is by turning off notifications entirely. When you do check your phone, try to limit social media use. Instead, it may feel nicer to connect with loved ones by responding to their messages or giving them a call.
3. Re-evaluate your expectations
Expectations are one of the top holiday stressors. It’s easy to get caught up in comparing yourself to others and their experiences. You may think that everyone else is having a better time than you, but that isn’t true — everyone has unique challenges and struggles, especially during the holidays. Focus on appreciating the good in your life instead of worrying about what isn’t working out as planned.
4. Take a walk
It’s easy to forget about our own needs when we’re planning events or dealing with family issues. One way to do that is to prioritize movement. Walking is one of the best ways to relieve stress, which can be especially helpful during this time of year when it seems like there’s no end in sight. This is the perfect solo time to sort out your thoughts, listen to a podcast, or fly through an audiobook. It’s also beneficial to have company — try using this time to connect with friends or family.
5. Create traditions
Another tip for holiday stress is to actively create traditions. Traditions are a great way to connect with your loved ones, no matter what time of year you’re celebrating. They can give everyone something fun to look forward to. And, knowing you can count on a fun event, game, or meal every year anchors you to the present moment — making the holidays less stressful.
For example, many people have been taking part in traditions for years, and they may not even realize it: decorating their homes, getting together with friends and family members, sending holiday cards, giving gifts — the list goes on and on! All of these activities create memories that last for years when we think back on them. Traditions are reliable, making them an excellent way to overcome holiday stress.
6. Ask for help
Ask for help when you need it. The holidays can be an especially chaotic time with so much going on. If you need support, ask your friends or family members if they would be willing to lend a hand. They will likely be glad to help out during a season of giving, they’ll appreciate having an opportunity to show kindness.
A counsellor can also be a reliable source to lean on when you’re experiencing holiday stress. They’ll help you identify the root cause and give you concrete tips to help you feel more relaxed this holiday season.
7. Take care of yourself
It’s easy to fall into doing so much for others that we forget ourselves. Take care of yourself by getting enough sleep, eating nutritious foods, and making time for exercise. While the holidays may bring excitement, they also lead many people toward unhealthy habits like overindulging in sweets, drinking too much, and moving too little. To avoid these, make sure that plenty of time is reserved each week for restful activities such as reading or going for walks outside so that your body stays strong throughout this busy season!
Try these tips for holiday stress
The holidays are stressful — there’s no doubt about that. Many people experience increased anxiety around the holidays because there’s so much going on. But if you follow these holiday stress tips, you can make the experience more enjoyable. You don’t have to be perfect—nobody is! But you can certainly improve your situation by preparing yourself ahead of time and asking for help when necessary.Feeling stressed or overwhelmed? Find relief with our online stress counselling. Connect with a counsellor.