• Do you find the holidays stressful?
  • Are you worried about all that you have to do before get-togethers?
  • Are you anxious thinking about interacting with co-workers, family, or friends during social events?
  • Are you feeling the “holiday blues”?

The holidays are typically a time of joy, giving, and socialization; however, they can also be quite stressful. Expectations from family and friends, social responsibilities, and engaging with others are all sources of stress.

In fact, depression, loneliness, and anxiety are common emotional reactions during the holidays. The stressors of the pandemic have exacerbated distress. Managing through COVID-19 can make even joyful events difficult.

If you are struggling with the “holiday blues” are transient and do not persist after the holidays. However, if you are struggling with a mental health issue, such as depression or anxiety, you may find that your distressing feelings are more intense or frequent. During these times, establishing and sticking to helpful coping skills can help you manage your stress.

Tips to Cope with Holiday Stress

  • Connect with others: Social engagement can alleviate feeling overwhelmed and help you feel supported.
  • Focus on what can control: Instead of worrying about how things should be, try shifting your focus on what can influence.
  • Get help: Share work and personal responsibilities with others. Ask or hire others to help you manage.
  • Use relaxation techniques: Try deep breathing, meditation, nature walks, listening to calming music, or reading a book.
  • Get sufficient and quality sleep: Sleep reduces the physical activation caused by stress. Restore your body with sleep.
  • Practice gratitude: Think about all that you are grateful for and what gives you happiness.