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  • Writer's pictureJodi Hardesty

Five Holiday Stress Reducers

Updated: Jan 12, 2023

Though the holidays are exciting and often filled with joy, they can also be extremely stressful! Here are some quick tips to let go of the pressure and re focus on the celebration and connection.

1. Gratitude list- Take a few moments to recognize what is going well in your life and think of one person who has impacted your life this year in a positive way. It does not have to be huge, even something like a store clerk who said just what you needed to hear on a bad day, or the friendly smile of a passerby. If you can’t think of anything challenge yourself to find one person that you can help, also with a warm smile or act of kindness. Sometimes we get so overwhelmed by the challenges in life we forget what is important.

2. Un pack the to do list- Holidays can leave us buried by the things we have to accomplish. Sometimes writing it down and prioritizing it can make is more manageable. It can also allow for an evaluation of what really needs to be on the list to begin with, and can remove extras. Develop a SMART plan to accomplish the tasks. SMART -Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time limited. Breaking things down in this way and help us to plan out an actionable process to get it done.

3. Allow for some unwind time- Put away all of the lists and take some time to allow yourself to take a deep breath and really relax. This is different for everyone, but sometimes just sitting down to watch your favorite movie or have some tea, or pet your puppies or cats, call a friend, or just sit and meditate. What ever feels like a break for you, taking this time can allow you to reboot and re discover a sense of calm.

4. Set those boundaries! One of the many tools we apply in Family counseling is boundary setting. Too much of anything can be overwhelming. Especially time with family and friends around the holidays. Remember that is okay to set a time frame that the party starts and ends. This is true for visiting guests as well. If it is not possible to set the time frame make sure to allow your self to take a break. Even if that is locking yourself in the bathroom for an hour! It is okay to need some space and time alone, we all do. One great escape is running to the grocery store or even just taking a walk around the block. Most likely your guests would appreciate a little alone time themselves.

5. Remember why you are celebrating! Sometimes we get so caught up in the planning and perfection that we forget we are together to have a good time! We are celebrating each of our traditions and choosing to participate in a joyful and present way. Remember it is not about who got who what or how perfect the house looks, it is about connection, caring, creating happy memories!

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