Stress Less This Season

For many, the holiday season comes with plenty of joy – and plenty of stress. From planning events to buying gifts, it can be easy slip into the pressure of making this “the best one yet.” Thankfully, experts from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Mayo Clinic share their tips for de-stressing during the holiday boom. Here’s how you can get back to enjoying the season:  


Accept Imperfection

Expectations are often set impossibly high for the holidays. Not only do we feel pressure from those around us, but we as individuals put a lot of pressure on ourselves too. The fact of the matter is, you can’t please everyone, and imperfection is healthy and normal. When things don’t go according to plan, don’t beat yourself up and pack your patience – we’ve all been there! 


Remember the Reason for the Season   

When you start feeling overwhelmed or frustrated, don’t lose sight of what really counts. Minor inconveniences such as long grocery lines or stand-still traffic can feel like huge bumps in the road during this time. Instead of letting the stress take over, maintain a calmer approach to the situation. Use the time to reflect on the good parts of your day and don’t let it spoil the rest of it.

Respond with Kindness

You can’t control the actions of others, but you can control how you respond. The stress of the holidays takes its toll on everyone, and there’s no guarantee that every individual will manage it well. Remind yourself of this if, for example, you have a difficult or unpleasant encounter. Soften any frustration with compassion because just like you, everyone is dealing with the pressure – it’s not personal.


Take a Breather

Don’t be afraid to make time for yourself and take a break from the holiday hustle and bustle. Even just 15 minutes can help to clear your mind, reduce stress, and cultivate fresh perspective. Take this time to do something you enjoy such as reading, listening to music, or taking a walk. Remove distractions and rejuvenate yourself.  


Learn to Say “No”

It’s easier said than done, but most of us know the feeling of disdain and overwhelming stress that comes from saying “yes” when we should be saying “no.” This is especially difficult to grasp during the holidays because we fear creating disappointment or disagreement. However, it’s important to do what’s best for you, and remember, you aren’t the only one facing such situations. You don’t have to feel guilty.