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Holiday Tips for Managing Stress

Here are a few tips to head off that hectic holiday feeling and help you enjoy the season. Balance that long to-do list with these self-care techniques to reduce stress and increase your sense of joy.

Don’t Over Schedule

Choose your activities purposefully and honor your limits. If you’re overwhelmed by your holiday agenda, consider skipping an activity or two. Remember, it’s okay to take time out.


Exercise can boost your mood, improve your sleep, and help you deal with depression, anxiety and ADHD. People who exercise feel more energetic throughout the day, sleep better at night, have sharper memories and feel more relaxed and positive about themselves and their lives.

Limit Alcohol Consumption

Don’t attempt to drink away stress or unpleasant emotions; especially if you’re on a medication that shouldn’t be mixed with alcohol. If alcohol is being served at a gathering, remember that you’re in control, and it’s okay to leave if the desire to drink becomes too overwhelming.

Enjoy Nature

Spending time in outdoors or bringing nature into your everyday life can benefit both your mental and physical wellbeing. The sun gives us the best source of Vitamin D and getting enough of this hormone is essential to maintaining a healthy immune system.

Listen to Your Favorite Music

Research from the University of Maryland shows that hearing music you love can relax blood vessels and increase blood flow. That not only calms you down but is good for your heart, too.

Keep Up Health Habits

Be sure to include healthy options for snacks and meals throughout the season and step up your exercise routine to burn those extra calories. This year, in addition to keeping an eye on holiday eating, it’s important to practice social distancing, wear a mask, and wash your hands regularly.

Love on an Animal

Pets, especially dogs and cats, can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, ease loneliness, encourage exercise and playfulness, and even improve your cardiovascular health.

Don’t Compare Your Holiday with Others

Social media allows you to see what all of your friends are doing during the holidays. Making comparisons can leave you feeling let down. Remember that everyone’s holiday traditions are different, and that photos typically only represent happy moments.

Attend Your Sessions

The holidays don’t always feel like the “most wonderful time of the year” for everyone. With professional help, your therapist can guide you in your journey toward healing, so you can begin to find moments of comfort and joy.

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