Managing Your Holiday Stress

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The holidays are supposed to be fun, not stressful.

I love the holiday season. The snow, the snacks, the goodwill; it’s all really wonderful. Unfortunately, the holiday season is well-known for being one of the most stressful times of the year, and I imagine 2020 hasn’t done much to mitigate that. While the holidays are supposed to be about goodwill and relaxing, there’s a surprisingly high amount of pressure to play into all that, from setting up decorations to buying gifts. It can really be overwhelming, so before it gets to be too much, let’s step back and take a breath.


Whether you’re a kid or a working adult, the holidays are supposed to be when you get a break, and no matter what, you are entitled to that break. You need to set aside some private down time during the season; no decorations, no shopping, no overtime, just you, a mug of hot tea, and maybe a fireplace. If your schedule is too packed for a long stretch of relaxation, well, you ought to remedy that, but you can also opt for smaller bursts of downtime throughout the day. Some aspects of the holidays expect you to go whole-hog the whole way through, and that’s just not fair to you or your wellbeing.

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If you’re feeling especially stressed, the holidays are a good time to reflect on the things you feel gratitude for. I know that’s more of a Thanksgiving thing, but hey, peace and goodwill and all that. I’m sure it’s been a hard year for you, but take a deep breath and ponder on the little blessings you’ve managed to get out of life lately. Every victory, even a small one, is worth celebrating.

Just for a couple of days, stop thinking about what’s coming down the line and simply enjoy the holiday spirit. This ain’t Christmas with the Kranks; you won’t have an angry mob at your door if you decide to keep your celebration low-key.