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3 Ways to Deal with Stress during the Holidays

As the holidays approach, it’s important to take care of yourself in the midst of what can be a busy and stressful time of year.

Stressed woman, with gifts. How to de-stress during the holidays

Thanksgiving typically marks the beginning of the holidays. While the holiday season can be fun and festive, many people face stress, anxiety, or depression this time of year. It’s important to find ways to reduce stress and take care of yourself.

For some people, the stress of the holidays comes with the expectations that we put on ourselves—we might think that we must go the extra mile with gifts, decorating, or preparing home-cooked holiday meals. But it may be time to re-evaluate your holiday to-do list. Dr. Scott Whittle, Medical Director at SelectHealth, suggests: “Think about the expectations we put on ourselves and be sure that what we are stressing about is really in line with our most important goals and needs.”

Related: 7 Strategies for Coping with the Holidays

There are a few ways to reduce or minimize the stress you feel during the holidays and make self-care a priority:

1. Physical Activity

Any type of movement is good for your body. And don’t forget, it’s also great for your mental health. So, even if it’s ten minutes at a time, taking a walk around the block can help clear your head and help you prepare for your next holiday task.

2. Remove Things That Don’t Add Value

You may have baked homemade treats for the whole neighborhood last year, but even if it’s good stress, your body responds the same way it would when it encounters negative stress. Both types, whether positive or negative, can have a physical and emotional effect on the body. If it’s causing too much stress, it’s okay to let go of a few things that may be doing more harm than good.

Related: 5 Ways to Handle Stress This Holiday Season

3. Self-Care

Taking care of yourself doesn’t have to take a backseat to holiday festivities. Self-care is always a high priority, but it shouldn’t require a great deal of time. Here are a few simple ways to practice self-care:

  • Take time to laugh—it can be therapeutic and elevate your mood.
  • Go for a short walk—physical activity will provide you with endorphins that can decrease stress, anxiety, and depression.
  • Find joy while helping others in need. Perhaps just holding the door for someone or offering a smile to a stranger can provide a small break from the stress of the holidays.

Dr Whittle adds, “Move away from things that add to our stress but don’t add to us as a person, parent, or friend. Taking good care of yourself can be as simple as using your time to improve your wellness.”

By remembering to take care of yourself and practicing a few ways to slow down, you’ll have a less stressful holiday season. 

Be sure to check out our other healthy living articles. 

 

SelectHealth may link to other websites for your convenience. SelectHealth does not expressly or implicitly recommend or endorse the views, opinions, specific services, or products referenced at other websites linked to the SelectHealth site, unless explicitly stated.

The content presented here is for your information only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, and it should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease. Please consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns.

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Post Author

Sandy Patton

Sandy is a Marketing Communications Specialist and has been with SelectHealth for 15 years. Her prior roles include health education and wellness coaching.