10 Tips for Surviving Holiday Stress

10 Tips for Surviving Holiday Stress

As the holidays approach, you may find yourself busy shopping for a list of gifts online or at the mall, decorating the yard with multicolor lights, attending or hosting holiday parties, or hurrying up to send last minute season's greeting cards to loved ones. All this work in anticipation of the Holidays can be stressful and emotionally draining if you do not take good care of yourself. Here are some tips to help you put up with stress at this time of the year.


1.Think of what these holidays mean to you, and why do you want to celebrate them. Do you have spiritual, religious or family reasons? What traditions can you practice or create to make this meaning the center of your celebration? It is easy to loose sight of the reasons why we celebrate the holidays when we are so bombarded by consumerist messages from the media. Celebrate keeping in mind what really matters to you.

2. When you are at social gatherings, be mindful that Christmas is a Christian holiday, and that many cultures either do not celebrate it or celebrate different traditions. If you are talking to people you don’t know, it may be safer to wish them “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas”.


3. Plan ahead and spend only what you can afford to buy gifts, holiday food, and decoration.

4. The bad economy is still hurting many families, so if you cannot afford gifts for your relatives, talk to them and set any expectations about gift exchange straight.

5. Think of alternative gifts that are meaningful, yet budget friendly. For example you can gift your own crafts, or those incredible red velvet chocolates that everyone you know loves so much.


6. Create a calendar where you can write and see at a glance all your Holiday plans, from your job’s pot luck to the family reunions and get togethers with friends. That will give you a visual idea of how much time you will have, and how much energy you will need, to prepare for each event. If you are a techie person, you can download Google Calendar from the internet for free and share it with your family and friends.

Mindful Eating

7. Remember that we tend to eat more food and drink more alcohol when we are distracted talking to others; And for some people impulsive eating goes hand in hand with social anxiety. Make it an intention not to overeat or drink when you arrive at a party, be present as you eat your food, and consider your actual body nutritional needs.


8. If you are staying with relatives, take time for yourself to recharge. Take walks, relax with a good book, nap, drink juices, do your favorite sports or activities etc.

9. Spend only as much time in gatherings with your family or coworkers as it is reasonable to you. Don’t force yourself to engage with people you are uncomfortable with for long periods of time. It is okay to graciously leave a gathering as soon as you are ready to do so. You do not need to give too many explanations for why you are leaving. “It is time for me to go” is a good enough reason to leave.


10. If you are going to have some time off for the holidays make it a point to really enjoy it. Make a list of small goals that would make you feel awesome this month, and aim to achieve those intentions by the end of it. Maybe you want to run a mile every day during the last two weeks of December to compensate for the extra-calories consumed during this time. Setting some intentions that you can easily make happen will help you begin the new year with a sense of accomplishment.