• Wellness Workdays

Stress Less this Holiday Season

woman relaxing on couch at night with holiday lights in the background

For many, the holiday season is filled with both joy and chronic stress. Stress is a natural reaction to life experiences that is unavoidable at times. Short periods of stress are handled well by the body, but extended periods of elevated stress can negatively affect both your physical and mental health. According to research, one way to boost your well-being is by exhibiting helping behaviors towards others, such as giving to people who are less fortunate. On the other hand, if you tend to give too much of yourself during the holidays, this may be increasing your stress level. Here are some simple ways to reduce your stress by putting yourself first this season, while keeping up your holiday spirit.

Take Back Your Time

One of the biggest holiday stressors is scheduling, so try taking back time for yourself where you can:

  • If you find sending out holiday cards to be a chore, simply take a break from it this year. You could instead call those closest to you to catch up and wish them happy holidays.

  • When gift shopping starts eating up too much of your time, try choosing a go-to gift that several people on your list may enjoy and buy it in bulk. For example a cozy blanket or reusable water bottle or coffee mug. Another option: give gift cards to allow them to pick their own gift!

  • Start saying no. If you tend to spread yourself too thin during the holiday season, try politely turning down some holiday engagements or extra projects at work to avoid burn out.

Practice Daily Acts of Self-Care

Carving out time for self-care is important year-round, especially in times of high-stress. Try practicing these acts of self-care:

  • Care for your body—eat healthfully, exercise regularly, and get enough sleep.