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4 Tips to Help You Manage Holiday Stress

While the holidays are a time for family, friends, and new memories, they’re also a time of overwhelming stress. Ensuring a clean house, entertaining guests and planning exciting activities for your children are just some of the factors that can influence unwanted stress during a time that’s meant to be about creating happy memories.


Even when there’s a lot happening, there are practical ways to ease into holiday mode and ensure you manage stressful events better. You don’t need to neglect your health goals and sink into the holiday blues. Read on to find out about these tips to help you manage holiday stress.

What is Holiday Stress?

Does the thought of the busy holiday season make your shoulders tense up? Do you constantly feel anxious about the possibility of overspending around this time of year? Do you get heart palpitations when you think about spending time with extended family on Christmas?


You’re not alone if you answered yes to the above questions. According to research, family and money are the leading stress triggers. There are many expectations, from social gatherings, ceremonies and vacations, that can lead to stress.


The desire to create picture-perfect memories while balancing the financial commitments of travelling and entertaining family members can wear you out. Various factors can trigger holiday stress, and it can be easy to miss when you don’t understand your mental health needs. Even though it can look like regular everyday stress, you should take note of these symptoms:

  • Continuous anxiety.
  • Feelings of sadness around loved ones.
  • Inability to get enough sleep.
  • Body aches or feeling extremely exhausted.
  • Headaches and wanting to isolate.

4 Tips to Help You Manage Holiday Stress

Plan Ahead

It’s essential to plan and prepare to avoid last-minute panic. Finding enough time for holiday activities can be tricky. There’s always pressure to commit to sudden events.

An action plan to tackle what you have scheduled can help you know what to prioritise. For instance, if you must take time off work to travel, ensure you do it beforehand. A well-planned list makes it easier for you to remember things.

Practice Self-Care

It can be easy to give time to yourself when you’re giving too much attention to holiday activities. Your mental health can feel the effects of doing too much. It’s crucial to balance your body’s psychological and physical health.

Set aside time for things you enjoy, like exercising, meditation, and even an early evening to get a proper night’s sleep. Stress can lead to severe health conditions when left unattended. For instance, it can put your heart at risk for a heart attack, high blood pressure and a stroke.

Don’t be Afraid to Say No

Creating boundaries is a big part of maintaining mental health and reducing stress. Learning to say no to things can benefit you in the long term. You don’t have to spend your time in spaces you don’t belong or with people you don’t want to be with.

Doing things you don’t enjoy to please others can affect how you feel about yourself. Plus, it can take its toll on your stress levels. Learn to say no to activities that don’t align with your plans these holidays to prioritise your mental health.

Rethink Your Resolutions

It’s that time of the year when most people plan what they need to start or get rid of to set the tone for a new beginning. Others can feel anxious as the year ends without ticking off every health goal they set to achieve. Feeling disappointed for not accomplishing everything can affect how you see yourself.

Taking a step back to rethink your resolutions for the upcoming year can take a load off your shoulders. Don’t be too hard on yourself. The more you worry about what you haven’t done, the more you will feel the holiday blues.


In conclusion, this time of the year isn’t a delightful experience for everyone. Feeling down and stressed about things happening around you is okay. Luckily, Affinity Health’s Telehealth Benefit provides unlimited access to mental health professionals who are there should holiday stress get the best of you.

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