Reduce Stress During the Holiday Season

It is that busy time of year! Most experts agree that holidays make people feel out of control. Visiting family, attending parties, shopping, and holiday activities can take its toll on a person, so I have put together 7 ways to de-stress and cope with this seasons festivities:

  1. Figure out the main cause of your stress and anxiety. A lot of the time we are running around to different things only to return home feeling deflated and empty. Narrowing down the biggest stressors coming our way will help us be better prepared to deal with them and keep the stress under control while also enjoying ourselves.
  2. Try something new. If going to the usual family party is too overwhelming suggest new options like new venues or new traditions to change things up and keep family from the same old yearly frustrations.
  3. DON’T think about how it should have been! Almost every year I think of how everything could have been better and stress over something that is too late to fix. I compare myself to others photos and experiences and get down on myself for not meeting the mark. Most people do not have the perfect holiday and those that do usually simplified everything. Do what feels good and fun to you and be happy with it.
  4. DON’T OVER DO IT!! I wish I could scream this at myself every October. I always want to top myself from the year before and by January I am so worn out and grouchy I promise myself next year will be better. It’s a vicious circle. Simplify your schedules and activities. Spend more time with family just enjoying each other without all the jazz. It really does make a huge difference in my attitude and feelings on the holidays. SO much joy is found in simplicity.
  5. Do something you love that is not holiday related. Reading a book, organizing a closet, or making a favorite meal can bring you back to normal life make a huge difference in your happiness. It may sound crazy but when you feel out of control organizing something like a drawer or bag can return those feelings of control and peace. Taking control and making time for something you love works too. I always feel so much more like myself when I do something that I love outside of my holiday to-do list.
  6. Get some exercise. This is a go to of mine all year round but especially around November and December. Getting some fresh air or taking a class at the gym helps me clear my mind of all the things weighing me down. I literally feel like a weight has been lifted on my shoulders after 30 minutes or so of exercise.
    1. A side note to this one is –find your own calm- exercise doesn’t work for everyone but taking a bath after the kids are in bed or taking a scenic drive alone can have the same effects of exercise. Do what works for you.
  1. Take deep calming breaths of citrus. Researchers have found that citrus and other fragrances boost a sense of calm and happiness, reducing stress and bettering our moods. Keep a handkerchief or cloth with oils in your pocket or buy a candle that soothes you for the end of the day.

Remember what the holidays are really about and make that the focus of your to do list.

About Grace:

Grace was born and brought up in Bessemer, Alabama but has a great love for exploring new places. She has been married for 8 years and has 3 kids, expecting number 4 in December. Having been  a student off and on for the last 10 years she is excited to say that she is finally graduating from BYU-Idaho with a degree in Marriage and Family Counseling this year. She loves to learn and share what she learns with as many people as possible. Strengthening and encouraging positive relationships with couples and families is a life goal and passion. Her biggest hobby is her family and finding new and fun ways to accomplish the above life goal in her home.

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