Coping with Holiday Stress

By: Abigail Saneholtz Psy.D Licensed Psychologist

Tis the Season for Traditions and Joy but it can Lead to Holiday Stress

The holidays can be a wonderful and joyful time of the year to celebrate with family and friends! Often traditions are shared from one generation to the next as a part of getting into the holiday spirit. Gifts are given, houses are decorated both inside and out, cookies are made and spending time together during parties keeps the merriment alive!

Holiday Stress can Affect Mental and Physical Health

However, not everyone enjoys this time of year. Many individuals feel increased stress, anxiety and depression. Some individuals are missing loved ones and feeling lonely. While others are stressed by expectations and worried about money for gifts. Such experiences can affect mental and physical health.

Holiday Stress Comes in Many Forms

There are many factors that can lead to holiday stress. Dealing with a difficult family situation, the pressure of gift-giving, dealing with financial stress and managing expectations can all take their toll on your mental health. If you are a parent it can be especially stressful if you are struggling with money and getting them the gifts they want. Whatever is stressing you out this holiday season, taking steps to reduce and effectively manage holiday stress can help you enjoy and strengthen your relationships with others during this special time of  year.

Ways to Reduce Holiday Stress

If you are feeling this way here are some helpful ways to get through the holiday season:
1. Make Self-Care a Priority
2. Learn to Say No and Set Limits
3. Seek Support to Reduce Isolation
4. Reduce Financial Stress by Sticking to a Budget
5. Set Realistic Expectations
6. Moderate Alcohol Use
7. Identify Reasons to be Grateful

Family Psychology Associates are Here if You Need Us

If you feel your holiday stress is negatively affecting you and your health, our mental health professionals can help you identify the problems and help you develop a plan to work on them. Call us today if you need help getting through the holidays or if you experience post-holiday depression. Not only can we help you get through the holidays but we also offer Health and Wellness, Relationship Counseling & Enrichment and Stress Management to help take control in the new year. Contact us today to get started on a plan for holiday stress or a new year with a focus on your physical and mental well-being .
For additional resources on managing holiday stress please check out APA’s website:
http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/holiday-stress.aspx

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