7 Ways to Ease Holiday Stress

Overly Stressed Woman preparing for the winter holidays

For many, the holidays are a time to spend with family, delight in traditions and enjoy the festivities. However, juggling work, social commitments and errands can turn the most wonderful time of the year into the most stressful. Follow these tips to help ease the demands of the season and make it more enjoyable for you and your family.

How to Handle the Holiday Stress 

Plan ahead

Whether you’re celebrating Diwali, Christmas, Hanukkah or Kwanzaa, you certainly know the dates ahead of time. Pre-planning can help reduce stress during holidays. Try to buy gifts ahead of time and make a list of everything you need for hosting a dinner or get-together a few weeks in advance. You can also cook beforehand to free up time during the holidays.

‘Tis the season to take care of yourself

If you’re hosting events, navigating busy malls to shop for gifts and decking your halls, you’ll need plenty of energy. Don’t skip meals; stay hydrated and get plenty of rest. Also, make sure you exercise regularly to ward off feeling fatigued. Walking is a great way to release stress and get some exercise. According to Heart and Stroke, adults should engage in multiple bouts of moderate-to-vigorous aerobic activity that accumulate to at least 150 minutes per week.

Giving back feels good

There are many opportunities to do good for others during the holiday season that can boost your mood and help relieve some tension.

  • Donate to a favourite charity, contribute to a local food bank or support a toy drive to immediately lift your spirits.
  • Volunteer to shift the focus of the season to your community. Better yet, make it a family activity!
  • The holidays can be lonely for the elderly or those who don’t have a lot of family around. It’s a great opportunity to reach out and spend time with them or write them a meaningful note.
  • Support the annual Shoebox Project for Women, which provides a shoebox filled with hygiene products and a warm message of support to women in local shelters. Find out which Allstate agencies are accepting shoebox donations in your community.

Prioritize your activities

Just because your calendar is booked with holiday parties doesn’t mean you have to attend all of them. Take a look at your activities and prioritize them to help reduce tension. What are the most meaningful to you? Is it attending that baking night hosted by a friend-of-a-friend or going to your child’s school holiday concert? Choose the events that you’re most excited about and will bring you joy.

Don’t shop till you drop

It might be a good idea to reduce the number of people on your gift list and opt for a gift exchange instead. You can also cut down on gifts to neighbours, some acquaintances, and your hairdresser, and just send cards with meaningful messages. This can help reduce the stress of running around to different stores and save you money.

Keep calm and share

It can be challenging to solicit help when you’re feeling overwhelmed. If you have teenagers or grown-up kids or friends and family nearby, now’s the time to enlist them to help decorate, wrap gifts, and tidy up if you’re having guests over. If your kids are helping in the kitchen, remind them about kitchen safety. And don’t get caught in the trap of spending hours making your house as fancy as can be; the goal is to tidy it, not to try and replicate holiday decorations at your local mall

Take breaks

If you find yourself feeling stressed, take a break. Do something you enjoy, either by yourself or with others. This could be something as simple as watching a favorite movie, going for a walk to admire the holiday decorations or taking a few minutes to appreciate everything positive in your life. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by negative news, take a mini media break. Listen to holiday music, read that book you’ve been meaning to get to or spend time with friends.

Practicing these positive, healthy habits to reduce holiday stress can help ensure you make the season brighter, more relaxing and enjoyable.

Disclaimer: This information has been provided for your convenience only and should not be construed as providing legal or insurance advice.