Happiness holiday stress

Published on November 21st, 2011 | by Becky Striepe

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5 Tips to Cope with Stress this Holiday Season

holiday stress

Holy moly, can you believe that the holidays are officially here? Whether you’re hosting a shindig or hitting the road, this time of year is completely stressful, and that’s such a bummer. The spirit of the holidays isn’t about giving gifts or even about the meals, right? It’s about spending time with the people we love and being grateful for what we already have. That’s hard to do when your nerves are completely frayed.

Don’t despair! Just staying more mindful this holiday season can go a long way, and we have some tips to help you fight the holiday stress naturally.

1. Don’t Forget to Breathe

If you’re feeling stressed to the max, sometimes the best thing to do is take five and regroup. Lock yourself in an empty bedroom or head to a nearby coffee shop on your own, and take some time to yourself. Focus on taking deep, slow breaths and let your mind clear before diving back in to holiday insanity. Even if you can only take 10 or 15 minutes, you’ll come back with a fresh perspective.

2. Just Say No

On my wedding day, I was pretty stressed out. There was a lot to get done, and certain family members were driving me absolutely bananas. When one in particular was asking me a slough of questions I couldn’t answer, I finally just told her that she was stressing me out and I needed a break from the questions. The only thing I wish I’d done in that scenario was to speak up sooner, before I’d reached the end of my rope, so I could have been a bit more tactful.

I think that lesson applies to the holidays, too. Knowing when to say no and when to say enough is key to managing your holiday stress. Don’t be afraid to ask for help!

3. Exercise

Exercise releases your body’s natural endorphins and makes you more equipped to handle stressful situations. The other super secret reason I love exercising around the holidays? Folks normally understand wanting to fit in a workout, so you have a good excuse to get a bit more precious alone time. Whether you go for a brisk walk or a bike ride, find a quiet spot to do some yoga, or head to the gym, take that time to work out what’s nerving you and find your center. Meditation can be a big help, as well.

4. Drink Some Wine. Or Tea

I do not recommend using wine as a crutch for handling holiday stresses, but having a glass of wine can definitely help your nerves over the holidays. Just make sure you stick to one or two glasses. Otherwise, you risk coping with a hangover the next day on top of all of the other holiday stressors.

Wine’s not the only drink that can help you relax! A cup of soothing chamomile or ginger tea is a great way to calm yourself. Even better: take a tea break! Brew a cup for yourself, and sneak off somewhere to enjoy your cup in piece. It only takes a few minutes, and you’ll be so much calmer afterwards!

5. Plan Ahead

One of the biggest reasons folks stress over the holidays is that they’re scrambling around, tying up loose ends. Planning can go a really long way. If you’re cooking a meal, see what you can cook in advance, so you’re not doing everything on the day of. Try to sort out where folks have to be and when before family and friends get to town, so no one is waiting around or worrying about logistics.

Image Credit: Holiday Stress photo via Shutterstock


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About the Author

My name is Becky Striepe (rhymes with “sleepy”), and I am a crafts and food writer from Atlanta, Georgia with a passion for making our planet a healthier, happier, and more compassionate place to live. My mission is to make vegan food and crafts accessible to everyone!. If you like my work, you can also find me on Twitter, Facebook, and .



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