Health Advocate Blog

3 Easy Ways to Reduce Holiday Stress

The holiday season can be a stressful time with year-end deadlines at work, last-minute gift shopping, family visits, and party planning.  This year, resist the temptation to fill up your calendar and to-do list, and take some time for yourself to rest, relax, and enjoy the holidays. These tips can help you reduce your holiday stress.

Limit your obligations

Doing things out of obligation can drain your energy and take away your sense of enjoyment.  What are the things that you and your family enjoy doing the most over the holidays?  Make those favorite activities your priority and focus less on trying to do everything.  Plus, try these tips:

  •  Say no if you don’t want, or aren’t able, to take on hosting duties.  If you would prefer to not have house guests, arrange a list of nearby hotels for them instead of offering up your home.
  • If you exchange gifts, talk to your family and friends and set a dollar limit.  This can help ease financial stress.
  • Besides the favorite events you’ve chosen to attend, deem any other events and obligations optional.

Delegate and plan ahead

Taking on everything by yourself can increase your stress level. Don’t be afraid to lighten your load by asking for help. Try these ideas:

  • Invite others to your home for a potluck so that you don’t have to make all the dishes.  Enlist help for clean-up duties.
  • Give yourself enough time to split up shopping tasks over the days and weeks instead of doing them all in one day.  Better yet, assign someone to take on some errands for you!
  • Most importantly, don’t wait until the last minute to get things done!  Lack of time can be a major stressor.

Enjoy yourself

Take some time to be merry! Enjoy time spent with loved ones, savor the traditional dishes you eat together, and appreciate the sights, sounds, tastes and feelings of the holidays.

  • Live in the moment and appreciate the fun and magic of the holiday season!
  • Create new traditions with your family. Enjoy an activity together, like looking at holiday displays, decorating your home, seeing a special show, going ice skating…the possibilities are endless!
  • Spend some time helping others or donating to a worthy cause.  Doing something kind for others helps you feel happy because you are contributing to something worthwhile.
  • Reconnect with friends and family members you haven’t seen or talked to in a while.
  • Take a day off from your to-do list.  Plan a day (or more) of doing nothing but kicking back and relaxing.

If you’re a Health Advocate member with access to the Wellness Coaching program, reach out to your Wellness Coach for more ideas on how to reduce stress during the holidays and throughout the year.