Tips on Managing Holiday Stress

7 Dec by HPA/LiveWell Clinical Psychology

The festivities of the holiday season often bring joy and excitement. Unfortunately, holiday stress also seems to inevitably show up. Whether your holiday stress comes from family, social commitments, financial woes, or otherwise, learning and incorporating tips on managing holiday stress could likely be beneficial. At HPA/LiveWell in Albany, New York, we understand the anxieties associated with the holidays, and work to support people in being more resilient throughout the season.

What Causes Holiday Stress?

Depending on personal circumstances and situations, holiday stress may stem from a variety of areas. Some common causes of holiday stress are:

  • Financial
  • Family
  • Social
  • Expectation
  • Food

Tips on Managing Holiday Stress

Stress is often unavoidable when the holiday season rolls around. Yet, if you can incorporate a few of these tips on how to beat holiday stress, you may find yourself better able to cope, and therefore be able to enjoy the holidays more.

  • Set a budget – setting a spending budget is an essential tip on managing holiday stress, as the holidays mean buying gifts for friends, family, coworkers, etc. Although spending money may be unavoidable, you can set limits through budgeting, saving in advanced, and/or creating homemade gifts for those you want to give to.
  • Know your triggers – whether it is a certain family member, food, or alcohol, it is important to know when you may be triggered emotionally, so you are not caught off guard.
  • Go low key – this means simplifying your holiday season. Learn to say “no” to certain events, responsibilities, or out of town guests during the holidays. Be careful not to set unrealistic expectations for yourself or the season.
  • Express gratitude – although gratitude is something to incorporate in everyday life, during the holidays it can be especially important. Gratitude not only helps bring greater joy to the celebratory aspects of holiday season, but also can aid in lessening your reactivity to the difficult parts.
  • Connect with your spiritual side – whether you consider yourself religious or not, it can be helpful to connect with the spiritual aspect of whatever holiday you are celebrating. It can be useful in remembering the true meaning of holidays, rather than the parts that can become overwhelming.
  • Acceptance – one of the most widely applicable tips on managing holiday stress is practicing acceptance. this could mean acceptance of the family member that you have an issue with, acceptance that not everything will go perfect or “as planned,” or simply general acceptance of yourself and whatever emotions arise during this holiday season.

Although there are many more holiday stress relief tips, the above-mentioned ideas are a good place to start.

If you or someone you know is struggling with holiday stress, or could benefit from learning more about tips on managing holiday stress, and stress in general, contact HPA/LiveWell in Albany, New York at 518-218-1188 to find out more about our services.