Tips to Manage Holiday Stress

by The Cooperative
The holidays are the perfect time to celebrate with others. It can also be a time when we feel added stress due to things like traveling and last-minute shopping. Managing stress during the holidays is important so that you can fully enjoy the season! Here are a few instances that may be stressful and how to combat it.
  • Stress from Traveling – Do your best to plan ahead. Make a checklist of your needed items and pack your luggage ahead of time if possible. Also, be mentally prepared for the unexpected! Delayed flights, traffic jams, snowstorms, flat tires, or any other stressful situations can happen, so being mentally ready for the unexpected can help you make light of the situation.
  • Finances and Last-Minute Shopping – Set a total dollar amount that you want to spend on all your gifts or what amount you want to spend per person on gifts. This way, you can stick to your financial goals during the holiday season. Make a list of last-minute gifts you have left to purchase and organize your shopping stops so that you use your time most effectively.
  • Hosting – Sometimes, being the host of family or friend get-togethers can be a stressor. Planning for food and drinks and even having family stay at your home may cause extra stress. To alleviate some stress, see if others who are attending would be willing to bring a dish to pass or a healthy beverage choice to share.
  • Food Pressures – We have all experienced food pressures during the holidays that may not align with our overall nutrition goals. It is ok to indulge in treats within reason and politely decline items if you feel it is best for you. If attending a gathering, ask if you can bring a healthy dish to pass or a healthier dessert option to offer to the group.
  • Missing Family or Friends – The holidays are when many of us miss our loved ones who we may not be able to visit or who are no longer with us. Stay in touch with family and friends that you can reach out to, and regularly practice stress management techniques such as daily gratitude and positive affirmations, meditation, or deep breathing exercises if you are feeling overwhelmed. If you feel like you’re in need of additional mental wellness resources, reach out to your primary physician, who can lead you in the right direction.  
The holidays should be all about celebrating with our closest family and friends. Doing your best to plan ahead for different stressors can help make the holiday season more memorable and enjoyable.
Written by Coach Sarah

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