Coping Techniques for Holiday Stress


We’ve all heard it said, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year”. In many ways it is the most wonderful time. There’s lots of opportunities for fun get-togethers, shopping ‘til you drop, getting all dressed up with somewhere to go, and of course all the egg nogg! But along with the fun festivities comes the inevitable holiday stress. It’s busy, it’s expensive and most of us end up wishing for the new year when life can get back to normal. Here are some things you can do throughout the holiday season to keep your feet on the ground and enjoy all this season has to offer.

Be in the Present – It is hard to enjoy the moment when you are thinking about all the things that are still to be done, and all the plans that still have to be made. As much as we need to plan ahead, the best way to enjoy the holidays is to be in the present. The best way to be in the present is to take a moment to stop, take a few deep breaths, look around at everyone in the room, and smile. This brief moment takes you out of the stress and reminds you of the good that is around you.

Intentional Rest – When we think of getting rest through the holidays, we think about crashing into bed at the end of a long day and praying for sleep. But we can incorporate times of rest throughout the day to ward off exhaustion. Intention rest means taking a few minutes away from everyone and doing something to recharge. It could be as simple as doing a 5-minute guided meditation, doing some deep breathing, or even a few stretches. This small break from everyone and everything is your time to recharge and feel grounded.

Boundaries – Having boundaries in place during the holiday season seems like an impossible task. It’s the time of year to say “yes” to everyone, and no one is allowed to say “no”. Before the holidays get into full gear, decide what you are comfortable saying “no” to. For some people it may be saying “no” to last minute invites, for others it might be giving yourself permission to say “no” at the last minute. It might seem like you don’t have this option, but saying “no” when you need to allows for your stress levels to decrease and your enjoyment levels to increase.

I encourage you to try some of these coping skills throughout the upcoming holiday season. Let’s all try to reduce our stress, be kind to those who are struggling, and truly make this year the most wonderful time!


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