Managing Holiday Stress

The holidays often present an array of demands — cooking meals, shopping, baking, cleaning and entertaining, to name just a few. And, with the added COVID-19 pandemic, many of us may be feeling additional stress or we may be worrying about our loved ones’ health. We may also feel stressed, sad or anxious because our holiday plans and traditions may look different this year.

With a few practical tips, including setting realistic expectations for ourselves and planning ahead as much as possible, we can do our best to minimize holiday stress.

Here are a few tips to help prevent or manage holiday stress and depression:

  • Take a quick break. Close your eyes and take a couple of very deep breaths. Even two minutes of deep breathing or meditation will make a big difference to your mental wellness.
  • Get moving. Go for a walk or find ways to build in 15-30 minutes of moderate physical activity or exercise each week.
  • Plan it out. If you anticipate a busy or stressful day, map out your day to be productive, plan out when you might need to allow yourself some alone time or a break, or practice how you might handle difficult conversations.

Here are additional resources, including stress busters, how to say yes to saying no and a stress management activity.