HOLIDAY STRESS – Tips to Help You Cope

Coral Gables Counseling Center - Wednesday, December 04, 2019
By Stephanie Gosset, LMHC

Licensed Mental Health Counselor

The holidays are coming up and as the season gets closer, the stress level increases for nearly everyone. There is so much demand and pressure associated with this time of the year such as gift giving pressure, shopping among the crowds, changes in routine, holiday parties, financial concerns, and so on.

Though the holiday season can be a significant source of stress, the following tips can be helpful so that we can enjoy this time of the year with our loved ones.

  • Treat yourself well. Take some time to relax on your own. Whether it is going for a walk, treating yourself to a pedicure or massage, soothing yourself with a bubble bath, reading a book or trying that new yoga class; take time out for yourself to reduce stress and unwind.
  • Get specific about your concerns and work toward solutions. Example: if shopping crowds stress you out, do your shopping in advance or do it online.
  • Set a spending budget. Ask yourself what feels like a manageable and comfortable amount of money to spend during this time. Come up with a realistic budget and stick to it.
  • Ask for help. Example: If you are concerned about hosting a dinner for your entire family then ask each member to bring a dish.
  • Be choosy about the social engagements you attend. It is alright to attend the engagements you feel most comfortable with. We often go overboard to please others during the holidays by over scheduling our time and taking on more than we can manage. Remember that saying “no” is okay and is also a sign of self care.
  • Set realistic expectations. Let go of that perfect holiday image and be flexible. Perfection is not reality and things do not always go exactly as we plan. Being flexible helps us realize that if things turn out differently, it is not the end of the world. Keep your expectations for the season realistic and you will enjoy the holidays much more.

Remember, the holidays are just another time of the year. Get proper sleep, take downtime to relax and exercise. If you or someone you know is struggling with stress, anxiety or depression, don’t hesitate to reach out to a mental health professional.

Do you have any other tips that have helped you cope with the holiday stress in the past?
Leave your comments here.