Managing Stress During the Holidays

While the holiday season can be a wonderful time of the year, with many things to celebrate and be thankful for, it can also be a source of stress.

What is stress?
A stressor is anything around us that demands our energy and attention. We experience stress when our brain interprets that we don’t have enough resources to handle the demands.

When you notice holiday stress creeping in, it’s important to take control and manage it effectively so that you can enjoy the season. Use the following three skills to help minimize anxiety.

Deliberate breathing
Take a few moments to practice diaphragmatic breathing. Focus on your breath or the emotion you’re experiencing, which will help you to reduce your stress response and think more clearly about the stressful situation.

  • Consider using this technique when you experience uncomfortable, negative emotions, feel overwhelmed by your physical response or lose focus.
  • Connect with others
    People matter, and when we are stressed out, we can lean on our relationships to help us build positive emotions and connection to overcome the source of our anxiety.

  • If you’re feeling down or alone, call or send a text to someone in your life.

  • Have a plan and stick to a routine
    If you know what stresses you out, develop a plan for coping with it. Going into a situation prepared can lower feelings of stress because you’ve planned for what may happen and can feel more in control.

  • Practice your regular self-care strategies even if you are somewhere different for the holidays.

  • Use these three skills when you notice that your stress is increasing. They can help you better manage the unpleasant parts of the holiday season so you can focus more on the fun this winter!


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