5 Ways to Reduce Holiday Stress

5 Ways to Reduce Holiday Stress

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio

The holidays can be a stressful time! There are so many festivities to run around to, gifts to buy, and events to run around to– it can be hard to keep track. One thing I know for sure is that you shouldn’t have to dread this season! 

Stressful moments may arise but there are so many ways we can reduce the negative impacts. Here are 5 ways to reduce holiday stress so that you can enjoy the holidays!

1. Practice gratitude

Even during the craziness of this season, there is so much to be grateful for! Consistently practicing gratitude is a great way to build resilience. Whether you want to keep a gratitude journal or start conversations with your kids about what you’re thankful for, gratitude can shift our perspectives in a positive direction. 

2. Focus on what you can control

We can’t always control our circumstances, but we can control our responses. When a holiday situation feels stressful, remind yourself that you can only control what you can control. Remember to stay present at this moment before worrying about what could go wrong next! Taking deep breaths or writing down the things that you can control is a super helpful way to re-center yourself.

3. Say no

It’s okay to say “no!” I know that it can be easy to overcommit to plans and obligations during the holiday season, but sometimes saying yes to everything isn’t what’s best for us. Saying yes when you should say no can lead to resentment and overwhelming feelings. If the thought of committing to one more thing feels stressful, then that may be a sign that you need to say no. Not everyone will always understand when you say no, but putting your well-being first is what matters most.

4. Maintain healthy habits

Just because it’s the holiday season doesn’t mean all of your current habits have to go out the window! You can fit those holiday obligations into your life without sacrificing your daily routine. Our bodies value consistency, so making sure that you maintain what you can from your current routine will immensely help reduce holiday stress. From getting enough sleep to eating what makes you feel good and exercising, your body will thank you!

5. Check-in on yourself

The holiday season may be all about giving, but that still includes giving to yourself! Take time for yourself to refresh from the chaos so that you can be fully present for the big moments with your family and friends. Ask yourself how you’re really feeling and reach out to others if you feel like you need support to get through the holidays! Even just taking 15 minutes to go on a walk or read a book can be a game changer for our mental health. 

You don’t have to let the holidays become something that you dread every year. Instead, stepping back and practicing a bit of self-care can help reduce your chronic holiday stress. Who knows, you may even end up enjoying the season more than you ever have before!

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