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Winter & Mental Health. Holiday Stress Relief

Managing Holiday Stress: Strategies for a Joyful Season


The holiday season is often associated with joy, celebration, and spending time with loved ones. However, it can also bring significant stress and anxiety. Balancing the demands of shopping, decorating, cooking, and socializing can be overwhelming. Here are some effective ways to help create holiday stress relief. (Everyone who reads these Blogs already knows I will be talking about Boundaries!!!!)

a Christmas scene with the words  The Art ofSetting Boundaries  So you Can Enjoy  a Relaxing Holiday

10 tips to create Holiday Stress Relief


1. Prioritize Self-Care: Amid the hustle and bustle, don't forget to prioritize self-care. Make time for activities that relax and rejuvenate you, such as taking a warm bath, practicing yoga, or reading a book. Remember that self-care is not selfish; it's essential for your well-being. (yes, this involves setting a boundary for self care).


2. Set Realistic Expectations: Avoid perfectionism and the pressure to create the "perfect" holiday. Set realistic expectations for yourself and your celebrations. Accept that not everything will go smoothly, and that's okay. Focus on enjoying the moment rather than striving for perfection. (Expectations are always based on Boundaries. Try going with the Flow)


3. Create a Budget: Financial stress is a common holiday concern. To avoid overspending, set a budget for gifts, decorations, and festivities. Consider creative, budget-friendly gifts, like homemade treats or heartfelt notes, to reduce financial strain. (Sticking to a budget, means setting a Financial Boundaries…)


4. Plan and Organize: Planning ahead can alleviate stress. Create to-do lists, set deadlines, and delegate tasks when possible. Organization can help you stay on top of your holiday responsibilities, making everything feel more manageable. (Use a calendar to set boundaries on how many events you want to attend).


5. Schedule in a Breather: Set a boundary around simply having an hour or so to relax. Many of us try to pack to much in, and wear ourselves out. Sure, you could make dinner at 4, but tell them you will be there at 4:30 and then you have 30 minutes to breath, or if you feel like it, you can arrive early.


6. Learn to Say No: It's okay to decline invitations or additional commitments if they add to your stress levels. Prioritize the events and gatherings that truly matter to you, and politely decline the rest. (Saying No is ok. It helps set boundaries!)


8. Maintain Healthy Habits: Don't abandon your healthy routines during the holidays. Regular exercise, a balanced diet, and sufficient sleep can help you better cope with stress. Avoid excessive consumption of alcohol and sugary foods, as they can contribute to mood swings. (Exercise will help with all those extra calories).


9. Focus on Gratitude: Remind yourself of the reasons you're celebrating in the first place: gratitude and togetherness. Cultivate an attitude of appreciation for the people and experiences that bring you joy.


10. Start Holiday Shopping Early. – Sure, you may miss out on some deals, but think of the savings you will be making on your mental health! (and stick to those holiday financial boundaries!)


10. Seek Professional Help: If holiday stress becomes overwhelming and persistent, consider talking to a mental health professional. They can provide strategies and support tailored to your specific needs.


By incorporating these strategies into your holiday season, you can reduce stress and increase your ability to enjoy the festivities. Remember that the holidays are about cherishing moments with loved ones, and by managing stress effectively, you can create a more joyful and meaningful celebration.


Jessica Blake Registered Psychologist

At Blake Psychological, we are here to help you navigate the stress, strain and pressure of the holidays. It is never early to start holiday shopping, practicing boundaries, setting limits, and saying No. Come heal, grow and create together

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