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Seven Tips for Dealing With Holiday Stress

tea with steam

Photo by John Flinchbaugh via Flickr.

Only 12 more days until Christmas! If you celebrate the holiday, does that thought fill you with joy or dread? The holiday season is a challenging one for many people — here are seven tips from experts for dealing with holiday stress.

  1. Take time for yourself.
    Even on the busiest of days, taking five or ten minutes to engage in a favorite mindless activity, or quietly enjoying a cup of your favorite hot beverage, can be a great stress reducer.
  2. Prioritize and be realistic.
    What is most important to you and your family right now? Events and activities that your friends and neighbors enjoy might not be the ones that are most meaningful to you. Carefully choose how you will spend limited time.
  3. Reach out.
    If you’re feeling lonely or isolated, seek out community, religious, or other social events where you can find support and companionship. Volunteering can be a great way to connect with others and find meaning during a busy time of year.
  4. Set expectations and plan ahead.
    Have realistic expectations and share them with your family. Make sure the whole family knows what your plans are, and you know theirs. Talk with children about where you will be going, whom you will be seeing, and what will happen. Involve older children in discussions about budgets and gift buying.
  5. Acknowledge your feelings.
    If the holidays are a difficult time for you, you are not alone. Many people have challenging emotions at this time of year. Instead of ignoring difficult feelings, acknowledge them and give yourself permission to feel the way you do.
  6. Learn to say no.
    There is so much we’d love to do if there were 36 hours in the day that just doesn’t fit into a 24-hour world. Don’t feel guilty for prioritizing family and personal time.
  7. Break projects down into smaller tasks.
    Looking at everything you want to accomplish all at once can be overwhelming. You’re likely to get more done more quickly if you tackle little pieces at a time.
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