Find your cheer: 5 tips to reduce holiday stress


Find your cheer: 5 tips to reduce holiday stress

The holidays are marked by joyful adjectives. Words like “merry” and “jolly” become part of our regular lexicon.
Still, even though we may be saying—or singing— happy words doesn’t necessarily mean we’re feeling that way.
For some people, expressions such as “overwhelmed” and “frazzled” may be more appropriate, but it doesn’t have to be that way. By incorporating a few simple strategies, you can ease the stress that can accompany the holidays and immerse yourself in the spirit of the season.

1. Stay healthy

Everything is harder when you’re not feeling well. Protect your health by doing your best to avoid illness – get vaccinated, wash your hands regularly and take other preventive measures. Although tempting, try to avoid excessive snacking and overeating and keep up with your regular fitness routine.

2. Plan ahead

If you can, buy gifts and meal ingredients ahead of time. This will help you avoid last-minute dashes to packed stores, frantically searching for items on your list. Taking a little time up front to plan will save you from feeling a last-minute crunch.

3. Don’t attempt an Instagram-worthy holiday

Perfectionism is, perhaps, one of the biggest sources of stress during the holidays. Focus on the things that matter, such as the meaning of the holidays and memorable time spent with family and friends. A leaning Christmas tree or burnt rolls are simply part of life. Learn to feel at ease with the ups and downs of the season, and you and your loved ones will enjoy happier holidays.

4. Ask for help

Don’t try to do everything yourself. Let your kids get more involved (even if they make mistakes along the way) and take advantage of a family member’s offer to cook some extra dishes for the holiday meal.

5. Focus on others

The best way to reduce holiday stress is to take your mind off your ever-growing holiday to-do list and find ways to make others’ holiday burdens lighter. Whether it’s helping an elderly relative with holiday shopping or collecting gifts for children who are less fortunate, helping others will boost your own emotional and mental well-being, while also getting into the true spirit of the holidays.

Sign me up for email updates

Sign up below to receive email updates from

Live Better. Learn More.

Sign up for our e-newsletter.