Quick Tips to Manage Stress During the Holidays

The holiday season is full of fun and laughter, the time of year where San Diegans come together to celebrate, eat, take time off, and enjoy the wonderful holiday festivities that San Diego has to offer.

However, the holiday season can also be a very stressful time of year for many. The crowds can be intimidating and the flurry of social activities can be stressful. The kids are out of school, family time increases, and many find themselves stressed out during what is supposed to be a joyful time of year. Don’t let stress and feeling overwhelmed negatively affect your health over the holidays. There are simple ways to manage stress during the holidays and keep your spirits up that can have a big impact on your health.

“Keep your stress in check during the holiday season with these simple tips!”

Top 5 Tips to Reduce Stress During the Holidays:

  1. Plan Ahead:

Planning ahead will help you feel a sense of control (although you still have to expect the unexpected!) over your schedule. Rather than reacting to everything that hits you, having a plan will provide a road map to navigate through the holidays stress-free. You can’t plan for everything, but you can remove as much stress as possible by being prepared.

Make a checklist and don’t procrastinate in order to avoid stress during the holidays. Don’t try to remember everything; use the list as a guide and systematically move through it. Having a written plan will remove tasks from the mental to-do list and allow your mind to relax and move onto something else.


  1. Learn to Say No:

Whether it be your kids, friends, or extended family, activity increases around the holidays and you may find yourself with too many requests loaded onto your schedule. Although it may be uncomfortable initially to have to say no, it will save stress in the long run and prevent your schedule from getting overloaded.

Not only is it physically demanding to keep up with a full schedule, it is mentally exhausting to have to be “on” all the time during holiday activities. Saying no and maintaining a healthy, balanced schedule will save your body stress and allow for the mental breaks it needs.


  1. Keep Your Healthy Habits:

Many throw their healthy habits out the door when they get busy and stressed over the holidays. This unhealthy shift adds to the stress on your body. Plan ahead (see #1 above) to maintain healthy habits as your holiday schedule fills up.

Prepare meals in advance, set aside time to exercise and get enough sleep. It is also important to stay hydrated as you are on the go. Staying healthy during the holidays will enable your body to meet the increased demands of the busy holiday season. It will also reduce stress during the holidays as you take time out to do something you enjoy.


  1. Set a Budget:

Increased spending over the holidays can be the source of stress for many families. To help manage financial stress, set a holiday budget early on and pass on any requests that stretch the budget.

Include spending for gifts, activities and food in your holiday budget and stick to it. Not only will this alleviate the stress of spending through the holidays, it will prevent stress caused by debt after the holidays.


  1. Take Time Out for Yourself:

This stress-reducing tip for the holidays can be the easiest to forget as this is a very social time of year. Spend just 15 minutes out of your day relaxing and recharging. Remove yourself from the mix and focus on you. Listen to music, stretch, meditate, take a walk, or draw. Do whatever allows you to relax and focus on yourself for even just a short period of time. Do this once a day to reduce your stress level and reset your mind and body.


The holidays can be the best and most stressful time of year. Although it may not be realistic to maintain a completely normal schedule over the holiday season, it is important to stay balanced and take time out for small stress-reducing activities to support your health. Remember what’s really important and keep a positive outlook to make the most of your holiday season!


Do you have a holiday stress reliever that works for you? Tell us about it in the comments below!


If you have questions about stress, depression or how to manage a healthy lifestyle during the holidays, contact one of our excellent specialists at the Scripps Affiliated Medical Groups today!


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