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  • by Nicola Boulton September 07, 2022 5 min read

    Self–Care Tips for Holiday Stress

    Holiday stress occurs when the person is overwhelmed by upcoming holiday activities. Read this article for tips on how to manage holiday stress. Some tips to avoid holiday stress are taking care of yourself, avoiding alcohol, eating, and sleeping well.

    Thoughts of breaking the usual routine for the holidays are accompanied by emotions that differ from one person to the next. For the person who feels stressed out at the thought of imminent holidays, the reasons could range from lack of finances, expectations, unresolved family issues, family responsibilities, and maybe unachieved goals that you will leave pending for a holiday. Or you could be grieving during the holiday. Maybe you want the perfect gift for someone but do not know what to buy. Read on to know more about holiday stress.

    What is Holiday Stress?

    Holiday stress is emotional tension that causes frustration, nervousness, or anger during or after a holiday. Stress refers to the body's reaction to a threat. When a person is undergoing holiday stress, the threat could be the holiday. The person may experience financial, emotional, or physical tension. The symptoms associated with holiday stress are;

    • Fatigue
    • Isolation
    • Sadness
    • Insomnia

    Holiday stress is not harmless, and if left unmanaged, it may cause depression, use of alcohol and drugs, and may lead to suicide.

    How to Manage Holiday Stress

    Holiday stress can worsen if left unmanaged. However, stress is not controlled, but you can cope with it. Below are some valuable tips to get you through the holiday stress;

    Be Organized

    Stress occurs when the activities are jumbled up. One of the most straightforward strategies a person can apply to beat stress is to be organized. Make a plan of all the activities you want to engage in, the clothes you want to wear, and the places you want to visit. Have a budget for the things that you want to prioritize. Stress and being disorganized are interrelated because it involves worrying. The pressure you feel when stressed is most likely connected to your lack of planning.

    Take Care Of Yourself

    Polizzi (2020) noted that the best strategy for coping with stress is to feel good about yourself. The most urgent thing about an upcoming holiday is how you feel. Whichever state you may be in, do not forget about yourself. Take care of your outward look and body, give yourself a lovely hairstyle, wear nice clothes, and do anything to improve your mood. Exercise helps release endorphins, also known as 'feel good hormones.

    Do Not Forget To Spoil Yourself

    Don't wait until someone buys you a gift. You can do that for yourself. Buy yourself something. Presents have always made the heart feel warm.

    Spoil Others Too

    Gift the people you love and make them feel special. Sometimes making people feel good makes us feel good too. You can also help the less fortunate in society. However, even as you impress others, remember to do so within your means.

    Talk to Someone

    Being candid about your feelings is helpful because you can get opinions and suggestions on how to get over the holiday stress from your listeners. You may seek professional counseling or speak to someone you trust. Delegate some responsibilities to ease the burden that may wear you out.

    Avoid Alcohol

    Sometimes people use alcohol to escape reality, but alcohol provides a temporary solution that resumes as soon as the intoxication wears out. Using alcohol to cope with the stress will only cause alcohol dependency, which may lead to an addiction. Mismanaged holiday stress can cause alcoholism. Brown (2022) indicated that excessive alcohol consumption could cause holiday heart disease, also known as alcohol-atrial arrhythmias.

    Find a Hobby

    A hobby is an activity you like in your free time away from your usual schedules, making it something to anticipate the holidays. Hobbies are essential for relaxation and boosting self-esteem, especially when you can do it well. Some hobbies are also income generating and may come in handy in increasing your finances hence reducing the stress related to financial constraints.

    Do Not Quit Your Job

    Whenever stress kicks in, the first thing that most people want to blame is work, but deciding to quit a job when you are stressed may not be a good idea. Wait until you are relaxed to determine if you want to resign but opting out when you are overwhelmed with holiday plans may cause regret. Stress is emotional and sometimes physical tension. Find ways to handle it without making drastic decisions.


    Make plans to ease physical stress through exercise. Exercise not only helps you relax your muscles but also helps in releasing endorphins which make you feel good. Exercise regularly, but do not also over-exercise. Powers et al. (2020) discussed how over-exercising could cause more stress.

    Eat and Sleep Well

    Sleep and a balanced diet are essential for your general well-being. Do not forget to eat and sleep as your mind gets preoccupied with the holidays. The rest should also be adequate, and if you have insomnia, it is crucial to seek therapy because if you do not sleep well, you can have a mental breakdown. Kelly (2019) discussed how too much stress could cause mental problems.

    Seek Medical Advice

    Holiday stress may be momentary or chronic, depending on the causes. Usually, when the cause is solved, the pressure also disappears. If the reason was low finances, the stress disappears when the financial status improves. However, chronic illness may indicate that the person suffers from an underlying issue. It is never a good idea to self-medicate holiday stress. Seek the doctor's opinion first. If everything seems to fail and you still feel stressed out, you need to consult a doctor because stress may be a disease symptom. Managing stress is successful only if it gets to the root of the problem. Sometimes the doctor may prescribe supplements such as CBD products to help you relax.


    Holiday stress is emotional tension caused by the activities of an imminent holiday. The person is overwhelmed by expectations and shortcomings. Holiday stress is not controlled like every other emotion, yet it is managed because it can lead to suicide. Finding a hobby, exercising, and buying gifts for yourself and others are some helpful ideas to cope with stress. Using alcohol to manage stress is a bad idea, leading to dependency. If all other methods do not work, the person must seek medical advice because stress may indicate an underlying illness.


    Brown, K. N., Yelamanchili, V. S., & Goel, A. (2022). Holiday Heart Syndrome. In Statpearls [Internet]. Statpearls Publishing.

    Kelly, R. R., Mcdonald, L. T., Jensen, N. R., Sidles, S. J., & Larue, A. C. (2019). Impacts Of Psychological Stress On Osteoporosis: Clinical Implications And Treatment Interactions. Frontiers In Psychiatry, 10, 200.

    Polizzi, C., Lynn, S. J., & Perry, A. (2020). Stress And Coping In The Time Of COVID-19: Pathways To Resilience And Recovery. Clinical Neuropsychiatry, 17(2), 59.

    Powers, S. K., Deminice, R., Ozdemir, M., Yoshihara, T., Bomkamp, M. P., & Hyatt, H. (2020). Exercise-Induced Oxidative Stress: Friend Or Foe?. Journal Of Sport And Health Science, 9(5), 415-425.

    Nicola Boulton
    Nicola Boulton

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