Stress Less, Holiday More

December 2, 2021

The holidays are in full force. Consequently, engulfing the schedules, plans and times of numerous individuals. When the holidays approach, this tends to cause more stress to be added on top of daily stressors, creating a perfect storm.

December is National Stress-Free Family Holidays Month. This is an observance set in place to remind individuals across the country that the holidays were not designed to foster pressure.  The holidays were designed to represent just the opposite. Although, it is easier said than done. It is important to recognize what causes one’s stress and how it can be managed healthily.

What causes holiday stress?

Many people experience stress during the holiday months for multiple reasons. Situations such as loss, complicated family dynamics, pre-existing mental health conditions and unattainable expectations can create additional stressors. Awareness of these stressors can then give someone an idea about how to tackle the pressure before it occurs.  

What are the common signs of stress?

  • An increase in substance use (alcohol, tobacco or illegal drugs)
  • Worrying excessively
  • Loss of appetite
  • Body pains (stomach aches, headaches, etc.)
  • Forgetfulness or confusion
  • Difficulties thinking clearly or concentrating

How can one tackle the stress?

  • Stay hydrated
  • Find time to exercise
  • Indulge without overconsuming
  • Don’t feel pressured to uphold family traditions
  • Make a budget
  • Find the best time to shop
  • Come up with a plan
  • Be kind to yourself

It is important to remember that one’s mental health is the most important thing to take care of this season. If this is done, it will truly make it the “most wonderful time of the year.”