Tips for Reducing Holiday Stress

Reduce Holiday StressHelpful tips for parents and families to reduce stress around this holiday season.

The holidays can be a time to be around family and friends but it is often the most stressful time of year for many reasons. The holidays can be stressful with activities such as parties, shopping, baking, cleaning, and traveling to see family. Some of the following ideas can help to lower your stress and bring more fun and joy to your holiday season!

  1. Spend time with others – The holidays can be a time to be with loved ones and reach out to those you miss. Let others around you help when they can. Even your children can help out with cleaning or baking. They will have fun doing it and learn too! You or your family can also try to help others in need. Be a volunteer at a community program or center near your home.
  2. Keep it simple – Set a limit on how much money to spend on gifts and what activities you can do. Parents often want to buy their child everything they want but this can cause more stress. We can show love to others like giving our time, making gifts, or having special “family “nights.
  3. holiday-stressShare your feelings – If someone close to you has recently died or you can’t be with loved ones, it’s normal to feel sadness, grief, and loneliness. Find a private place to express and release your emotions or talk about it with someone close to you. Just because it’s the holiday, doesn’t mean we have to be happy all the time.
  4. Do things to stay healthy – we often eat or drink too much at the holidays which can make us feel guilty. Healthy snacks, like fruits and vegetables, get plenty of sleep, and get some type of exercise like a walk or hike.
  5. Be realistic – Try not to put pressure on yourself to have the “perfect” holiday or do what everyone else is doing. Make and create the traditions you want to be special for your family. Also, if there are relatives or others you find difficult to be around, it’s okay to set limits on your time and visits.
  6. Look for the positives and blessings around you – There is so much violence and sadness in the news and our neighborhoods that we need to pause and think of the goodness in our lives. Look for the positive qualities in your children, family members and co-workers and comment on them! We can lift someone’s spirit with just a kind word or gesture. Tell others how grateful you are for them and all that they do! Don’t forget to praise yourself too!

Authored by: Ann Logoyda, Licensed Clinical Social Worker