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How to Combat Holiday Stress and Maintain Mental Health

The holidays are a time of joy and celebration, but they can also bring added stress. With the hustle and bustle of shopping, planning, and entertaining, it can be easy to forget to take time for yourself. It’s important to remember that self-care is essential in order to maintain your mental health during the holiday season.


Here are 15 tips on how you can combat holiday stress and mental health.

1. Make Time for Yourself:

Take some time out of each day just for you—even if it’s just 10 minutes. Use this time to do something you enjoy such as reading a book, taking a walk, or listening to music.

2. Talk About Your Feelings:

Talking about your feelings can help alleviate anxiety and depression associated with the holidays. Connecting with friends and family who understand what you’re going through can provide comfort and support.

3. Exercise:

Exercise is a great way to reduce stress. Even if you don’t have time for a full workout, try to fit in some physical activity throughout the day—like taking the stairs instead of the elevator or going for a walk around your neighborhood.

4. Get Enough Sleep:

Lack of sleep can lead to stress and anxiety so it’s important to get enough rest during the holidays. Make sure to set aside time each night just for sleeping and avoid late-night activities that may interfere with this routine.

5. Eat Healthily:

Eating healthy meals will help keep your energy levels up and give you more strength to handle the demands of the holidays. Avoid sugary and processed foods as much as possible and focus on eating a balanced diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and healthy fats.

6. Don’t Over schedule:

It can be tempting to try to squeeze in every holiday event or activity that comes up but try not to over commit yourself. Prioritize the events that are most important to you and don’t feel guilty about turning down invitations if it feels like too much.

7. Set Realistic Expectations:

The holidays are often filled with expectations—some realistic and some not-so-realistic. It’s important to set realistic goals for you and to remember that it’s okay to adjust them if needed.

8. Take Breaks:

It’s important to take regular breaks throughout the day in order to recharge and avoid burnout. Whether you take a few minutes or an hour, use this time for yourself and do something relaxing such as taking a bath or reading a book.

9. Ask For Help:

Don’t be afraid to ask friends and family for help when needed. It can be difficult to manage all of your holiday obligations on your own so don’t be afraid to reach out for assistance if you need it.

10. Practice Mindfulness:

Mindfulness can help reduce stress by allowing you to stay in the present moment and be aware of your thoughts and feelings without judgment. Practices such as meditation, deep breathing, or yoga can help you achieve this state of mindfulness.

11. Make Time For Fun:

The holidays should be a time for fun so doesn’t forget to make time for activities that bring joy into your life—like visiting an amusement park or watching a holiday movie.

12. Say No When Necessary:

It’s okay to say no when it comes to taking on additional tasks or obligations if it feels like too much. Don’t feel guilty about saying no if it means protecting your mental health.

13. Reduce Social Media Use:

Social media can sometimes add to stress by giving us unrealistic expectations and constant reminders of what we should be doing. Try to limit your time on social media and focus on living in the present moment.

14. Stay Organized:

Staying organized can help reduce anxiety and give you a sense of control during the holidays. Create lists, prioritize tasks, and make sure all important dates are written down somewhere so you don’t forget anything.

15. Seek Professional Help:

If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed or unable to cope with holiday stress, it may be beneficial to seek professional help from a therapist or counselor. They will be able to provide personalized techniques to help alleviate your symptoms.


The holidays can be a time of great joy but also of stress and anxiety. With the right strategies, you can reduce your holiday stress and have a more positive experience. By following these tips, you’ll be able to manage your stress levels and enjoy everything this season has to offer.