Stress Management Tips for the Holiday Season

‘Tis the season to be jolly—but it’s hard to be jolly when you have a to-do list that’s miles long and a holiday potluck every weekend. Although the holidays can be a time of cheer and togetherness, they also bring a certain measure of stress. Between holiday shopping, decorating, and family gatherings, you probably have less downtime than usual. Here are a few ways you can combat stress and truly enjoy the holiday season.

  1. Try new traditions. Most traditions you probably enjoy, like decking out the tree and baking holiday cookies. But others might not make sense anymore. Perhaps it was work trekking an hour to watch a holiday play when you were young, but if it feels like a chore today, drop it and make new traditions—perhaps ones that are closer to home.

  2. Abandon perfection. It’s natural to want every piece of holiday decor to look just so, to hope that your holiday party goes off without a hitch. However, if not everything goes according to plan, that’s okay, too. Don’t let the empty promise of perfection take away from the holidays! Tackle each task as it comes, and don’t dwell on any snafus.

  3. Get fresh air and exercise. If heading outside for a run relaxes you throughout the year, don’t give up this habit when things get busy! You probably need it more than ever during the holiday season. Carve out at least a few mornings a week to squeeze in a run, yoga class, or some time at the gym.

  4. Give freely. One of the best parts of the holiday season is all of the opportunities it presents to give. Give presents, give time, give money—contribute to the causes you really care about. Being generous tends to trigger warm and fuzzy feelings that will help combat that holiday stress.

7 Tips to Relieve Holiday Stress [Psychology Today]
25 Ways to Fight Holiday Stress [Health]
31 Tips for a Stress-Free Christmas [Woman’s Day]