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5 Holiday Stress Hacks

woman with wrapping paper

Somehow, the holidays rarely live up to the hype. From October through January, we are bombarded with images of holiday perfection on greeting cards, on TV, in movies, and at the mall. The truth is that all that shopping and cooking and traveling can generate a lot of stress. Here are some ways to reduce that stress and enjoy the holiday season.

Learn to say no

Don’t try to fit too many parties and get-togethers in your schedule, especially if you have young children. Don’t promise to bake cookies, wrap presents, and help with the school play in the same week. Be satisfied with choosing one activity you can do well.

Plan ahead

Start your shopping early and stick to your budget. This will cut down on financial worries. For family get-togethers, do your cooking a day or two in advance so you’re not rushing at the last minute.

Find ways to relax

Stress can cause physical symptoms such as headaches, sleeplessness, irritability and overeating. Find ways to relax. A hot bath, a good book, a daily walk, a phone call to an old friend ... all of these things can help you unwind and focus on the real meaning of the holidays.

Get moving

It’s hard to stick to your normal fitness routine during the holidays, but try to get a few minutes of exercise every day, whether it’s walking around the block or stretching while you watch TV.

We can help

Some people suffer from true depression during the holidays, stemming from loneliness, strained family relationships or the knowledge that certain loved ones aren’t around anymore. When stress leads to depression, tell your doctor, who can help you find the right treatment. If you need a primary care physician, click here. To learn more about our behavioral wellness services, please click here.