5 tips for managing holiday stress

Feel Good, Health and Fitness, Topics, What You Should Know

The holidays may be the most wonderful time of the year, but they can also be the most stressful. From shopping and decorating to gatherings with friends and family, things can get overwhelming really fast and lead to stress. Dr. Bashar Maskoni, a primary care physician with McLaren Port Huron, offers five tips to help reduce stress during the holidays:

1.  Plan ahead. Staying organized can help you feel less hurried. Set aside some days for shopping, decorating and traveling. Make a to-do list to keep track of the things you have done and things you still need to do. Knowing what you need to accomplish each day can prevent stress and anxiety from kicking in.

2.  Learn to say “no.” You can’t be in three places at once, so don’t try. Prioritize which gatherings and activities you want to attend and say no to the others. This will prevent burn out and make your holidays more manageable.

3.  Stick to your budget. You aren’t Santa Claus. You don’t have access to an entire workshop full of gifts to give. Set a budget for holiday shopping and stick to it. Try giving homemade gifts instead of buying everything. Cutting down on the financial stress of the holidays can help you enjoy them that much more.

4.  Take care of yourself. Taking time for yourself during the holidays can help you recharge, making your holidays brighter. Maintain your healthy habits, like exercise, diet and sleep. Read a book, listen to your favorite music or take a walk. Even just taking 15 minutes for yourself can have many benefits.

5.  Connect with others. The holidays can often trigger loneliness and depression. It’s important not to isolate yourself during this time. Surround yourself with happy friends and family. If you are unable to gather together, check in regularly through video chat or a phone call. 

And ultimately, “if you think holiday stress is getting the best of you, consider being proactive in managing it,” says Dr. Maskoni. “Taking just 10 minutes for a yoga practice or meditation session can help reduce stress levels and your blood pressure.”