10 Most Effective Ways to Prevent Holiday Stress

The holiday season is one of the most relished times of the year. However, it’s not uncommon for festive cheer to be accompanied with a slight or in some cases a considerable degree of  anxiety. How can you put the brakes on holiday stress so you can enjoy the season’s festivities in peace? Here are some useful tips that will help you halt anxiety and ensure you feel your best during the holidays and the throughout the year.



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1. Take ownership of your time.  Remind yourself that you own your time and all the task, responsibilities and activities that fill it. Telling yourself that your in charge of your time may help you to be more accountable for what you do with it. A great deal of holiday stress can be attributed to poor time management-leading to feelings of alarm and impetuosity as you rush to accomplish important tasks. Implementing a “reasonable” plan (one you realistically can commit to) or convenient to- do-list can be helpful tool in maintaining a sense of balance in your schedule in turn encouraging more organization and productivity. The formula is pretty simple: time management + organization + balance = “stress-less” daily living.

2. Vent your frustrations. As we all know, bottling up our aggressions can have counterproductive results. It’s essential to release toxic energy from our body, what I often refer to as detox for the soul. Here are some ways you can free yourself from worry, frustration and angst:

– Share it-Talk about whatever is bothering you with a friend, counselor, family member or even your pet. There’s something therapeutic about sharing, especially with a non-judgmental person that you trust  . It’s proven to be an exceptional way to alleviate stress.

– Get a punching bag- It might sound silly, but studies have proven, using a punching bag to release stress is a safe an effective means of managing anxiety, in addition to being a terrific workout.

– Write it down-Sometimes it helps to transcribe your thoughts with pen and paper or better yet a handy note appon your phone (Evernote is one of my faves). Taking a moment to jot down your ideas and feeling will help you to recognize your emotions and determine what is adversely effecting you. Identifying your stress triggers can potentially help you to prevent them.

3. Get your rest. Think of sleep as fuel, without proper amounts of rest, your body can not function its best.  The less sleep you get, the more difficult it can be to focus and the less productive you may become. Lack of focus and decreased productivity can easily result in excess stress which should be avoided.

4. Avoid overspending. We all know this is often easier said than done. Needless to say, it’s not an impossible feat. Creating a realistic budget at the onset and sticking with it, can prevent headaches and stress down the line. Budgeting and establishing guidelines helps us to live within our means which proves to be an essential tool in preventing stress. If you find yourself feeling anxious about all of the things you want to buy, but can’t due to financial constraints- be creative! Try your hand at DIY gifts. Pinterest is a wonderful source for great ideas or generate a decorative computerized or handwritten personal gift certificate that provides a rain check for  dinner, lunch or a special event on a later date. There are plenty of fantastic options that don’t require money- remember Google is your friend.


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5. Breathe. Take time to breathe it’s a highly effective way to reduce stress. Delete the disarray a.k.a. chaos and clear the way for good stuff in your mind. Taking a time out to hone in on positive thoughts and a focus on taking full, cleansing, deep breaths from the abdomen will help you replenish and declutter you mind. According to Judith Tutin PhD/Certified Life Coach,“Deep breathing counters the effects of stress by slowing the heart rate and lowering blood pressure.” In essence, positive thoughts fend off stress and useless anxiety. Try 6 Breathing Methods to Relax in 10 Minutes or Less.

6. Help someone-get involved with a cause. It’s easy to fall into the mode where we think we’re they only one with problems or setbacks. Studies show that it is common for people to suffer from feeling of isolation and depression during the holidays more than any other time of the year. With that said, getting outside, not just physically outside but mentally outside of yourself, can be a great way to relieve stress. Helping others in a meaningful way, is proven to be a useful means of counteracting stress and depression. Helping someone else to feel good about themselves often has a mirror effect, resulting in the same feelings about yourself. You’d be amazed how therapeutic/stress relieving, volunteering your help or services to others can be.

7. Exercise, regularly. Refuel with healthy foods and beverages. You’ve heard the expression, “What you put in, is what you get out.” right? Well that applies to stress and the internal/external operations of our bodies as well. If you fuel yourself with unhealthy thoughts, food and limited activity, more than likely, that is what you’ll get in return.  When you keep your mind and body fit, your brain will follow suit, operating with more clarity which will inevitably reduce stress. It’s proven-your body releases feel-good endorphins when you workout. These hormones help boost your mood and may help you keep problems in their proper perspective.