10 Tips for Managing Stress Over the Holidays

Nov 01, 2023
10 Tips for Managing Stress Over the Holidays
Holiday stress is normal, but you don’t have to suffer it alone. There are so many ways to manage and cope with this stress so you can feel your best as you spend quality time with your loved ones. 

The holidays are a magical time, but they can also be a stressful time. More hours spent with family and friends, the concern of hunting down the perfect gift or making the perfect meal, and the extra time off work or school can all trigger anxiety. 

Fortunately, there are ways to manage holiday stress, many of which we can help you with at Black Onyx

Our providers — Peter Pham, PMHNP-BC, and Diana Bush, PMHNP-BC — understand the unique stresses that the holidays bring and want to help you manage them with better coping techniques. 

Our four California offices offer integrated psychiatry that allows for better life management in the long term. And who wouldn’t want to go into the new year with this kind of superpower?  Here are some ways to manage holiday stress.

Make time for yourself 

The holidays mean time with friends and family, parties, and sometimes, sleeping in guest rooms. In other words, you may spend less time alone. If you normally get time to yourself, you might start to feel a little antsy. 

Take time for yourself to bust stress. If you’re staying with family, ask for an hour or two at the end of the day when you can wind down. This means you can relax and get a little reprieve from a long day of social interaction. 

Stick to a budget 

Money woes cause some of the most stress during this time of the year. Don’t spend more than 1.5% of your annual income on your holiday indulgences, so make a budget and stick to it. 

Watch your consumption 

Drinking and eating too much during the holidays is a recipe for the blues — and sometimes worse feelings of anxiety, depression, and stress. Watch how much you eat and drink. 

At Black Onyx, we also offer weight management counseling for those who find stress leads to overeating. 

Reach out for support 

Some people struggle during the holidays because they don’t have family and friends to lean on. If you’re feeling lonely, ask for help. Call someone you love, or reach out to the National Suicide and Crisis Prevention hotline.

Get comfortable saying no 

People-pleasers often experience even more anxiety during the holidays, especially when invited to parties or asked to fulfill obligations. If this is you, learn to say no so you don’t over-promise.

Stay active 

Many people let their exercise routines slip during the holidays. But if you stay active, you can fight depression, anxiety, and feelings of stress. Even if you can’t stick to a serious routine, get a little exercise every day to stay active. 

Take home wherever you go

Holiday traveling is stressful on its own, but when you pair it with the feelings of homesickness, you can start to feel worse. Bring some reminders of home with you when you travel, whether that’s a cozy blanket, a picture of your pet, or another keepsake. 

Start counseling 

You might think this isn’t the time to begin counseling, but there’s no time like the present to start healing. At Black Onyx, we offer psychotherapy for a number of issues, including anxiety, depression, and insomnia. 

Even if you think you might just be dealing with regular stress, counseling can still be helpful. Just talking to an unbiased party about your problems can unburden you considerably, and you can learn better coping skills for your holiday blues. 

Embrace telemedicine 

Telemedicine can make it so much easier to keep your therapy appointments over the holidays when you’re traveling or making more plans than usual. It’s one of the best options for low-stress medical and mental health assistance. 

Be kind to yourself 

Don’t beat yourself up if you do get down, say yes to too many things, overspend, or overconsume. The holidays can be a hard time, and the last thing you need is to get down on yourself. Being kind and gentle to yourself supports good feelings.

Holiday stress is normal, but it doesn’t have to overwhelm you. Call today, or visit us online to make an appointment at our Orange, Los Angeles, South San Francisco, or San Diego, California, office.