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How to Handle Stress During the Holidays

You know the phrase you’re bound to hear over and over again this time of year.

Happy Holidays!

Well, for a lot of us, this joy we’re “supposed“ feel doesn’t always come so easily. Even though there are colorful lights everywhere, carols playing in all the stores, and those cute fuzzy reindeer antlers on cars… everything is not always warm and bright.

I’ve found that the holidays can often bring more stress than happiness — and I’m not okay with that. We all deserve to enjoy the most wonderful time of the year. As I’ve struggled the last few holiday seasons, I’ve begun to develop strategies for dealing with the anxiety that tends to hit the day Jingle Bells starts blaring on the radio.

Here are some ways to reduce stress and make this year’s holiday a happy one.


Take Time and Be Good to Yourself

I know, I know. You have a to-do list as long as Santa’s. But neglecting yourself can lead to more stress and bitter feelings. Just carving out half an hour to sit and have a steaming cup of coffee or tea in the morning can positively change your entire outlook on the day. Take joy in the small things amidst the holiday craziness around you. Try a face mask, 20 minutes of yoga, or a short meditation. Find small practices that make you happy and do them every day.


Resist Those Goodies

It’s so easy to go for a second cookie when they’re just sitting there on the kitchen counter, especially the ones with the sparkly sprinkles… my weakness. A treat here and there is totally okay, but when it becomes a frequent thing, you’re not going to feel so great. Be conscious of your tendencies to reach for the sweets and try and replace them with healthier options. Keeping them out of sight is another great way to get them off your mind. By taking care of your body, you will have more energy and with that pep in your step, you’ll have a much easier time getting your holiday tasks done.


Break Up Your List (Instead of Checking It Twice)

With a million things written in your planner, of course you’re going to flip out! When you view all those to-dos in a lump, it’s going to feel close to impossible to get everything done. I have a couple strategies for handling that list of holiday endeavors. First, prioritize all your tasks. Start with the most important and work your way down from there. If it’s a larger task, whittle it down into smaller steps. Each step will seem more manageable as opposed to a giant undertaking. Another strategy is to start with an easy to-do. When you feel that sense of accomplishment, it’s going to help motivate you to take on the next task.

Life during this time of year feels like a whirlwind. Don’t let stress get you down this season. Use these strategies to make this a happy holiday to remember.


What are some ways you cope with stress during the holidays? Let us know in the comments!


Photo via Thought Catalog

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