Coping with Holiday Stress: 10 Keys to creating healthy holidays

Girl peeking through her hand

Seasonal Goals

  • Identify the main sources of holiday stress
  • Identify ways to manage holiday stress and make healthy choices
  • Develop(and later put into practice) a plan for a healthier, happier holiday

Key #1

  • Let go of unrealistic expectations: don’t try to recreate the past, or have a perfect holiday

Key #2

  • Acknowledge and express feelings honestly
  • Give yourself permission to feel feelings like sadness from prior losses such as deaths, divorce, separation; anxiety, dread, pressures

 Key #3

  • If you tend to isolate yourself, keep busy- invite others to get together and be proactive, not reactive

Key #4

  • Re-evaluate your traditions because they might be too stressful or time consuming

 Key #5

Don’t expect extended family problems to disappear just because it’s the holiday season

  • Reduce the amount of time you plan to spend with difficult family members
  • Let go of past conflicts and resentments
  • Learn to forgive
  • Balance your own needs with your family’s needs

Key #6

  • Prepare for the extra intensity
    • Eliminate stressful or unnecessary activities and chores
    • Take quiet times to be rejuvenated

Key #7

  • Nurture yourself- Do something special for yourself

Key #8

  • If you are struggling with loneliness or loss
    • Go to a place where you can find support and encouragement
    • Helping others can take the focus off one’s own pain

 Key #9

  • Be careful about over-indulging
  • Eat, drink and spend in moderation
    • Stick to nonalcoholic drinks
    • Get more exercise
    • Attend more events without food
    • Set spending limits

Key #10

  • Remind yourself of your true meaning for the holidays
  • Focus on what is most important about this time
  • Beware of excessive commercialism