Simple Ways to Reduce Stress and Anxiety During The Holiday Season

Does the thought of the holidays make your anxiety set in and leave you feeling stressed?  Here are some coping mechanisms to help you reduce stress and anxiety this holiday season.

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The holiday season is fast approaching.  Somehow I blinked and it jumped from back-to-school season to almost Thanksgiving.  And here we are, stuffed full of turkey and all the fixings and starring at the lights on the Christmas tree.

But for many the holidays, as joyful as they are and can be, they can also be stressful and anxiety-inducing.

Trying to fit in all the things – family gatherings, shopping, hanging with friends, and all the regular day-to-day stuff like working, cooking, and paying bills can be overwhelming for some, if not most.

Reasons Stress & Anxiety Increase During the Holiday Season

Financial stress

Sometimes gift giving can trigger stress if finances are a problem or people feel unable to manage regular responsibilities.


The holidays can be a reminder of lost loved ones.  When many are gathering with family, for some it is a reminder of who no longer is at the dinner table or a part of regular traditional celebrations.


Day-to-day life is hard enough.  But throw in social gatherings, family gatherings, work events, holiday programs at the kids’ school and all of the other things that happen during the holidays can trigger anxiety and stress.

Family issues

The holiday season can be a reminder of loss relationships or problems within a familial unit.  Things like dysfunction, addiction, abuse, separation, estrangement, or divorce create the likelihood that you will have to manage the emotions that are related to these situations.

5 Ways To Reduce Holiday Stress & Anxiety

According to the Mayo Clinic adapting, or changing your standards or expectations, is one of the best ways to deal with stress.

Reduce Strees By Learning To Say No

So often we want to please others we don't speak up when people keep asking us to add to our pile of stressors.

This holiday season, reduce stress and anxiety by saying no.

Not only can you say no when someone asks you to add to your stress, but it is also good for you to say no.

Do not take on other people's stress when you are already overburdened.

Aromatherapy Can Help To Reduce Stress

Medical studies have proven lavender to be effective in fighting stress. With just 15 minutes of lavender exposure, stress levels begin to drop.

Keeping lavender, or other essential oils like eucalyptus, on hand is a great way to quickly calm yourself and reduce holiday stress.

I have started a regular practice of using lavender or eucslyptus oils in my tighttime difusser.  Some nights call for a more regimented routine to help decompress at the end of a long day.

It helps to be able to fully unwind and getting a better nights rest.

Take Part In a Self Care Routine

So often for the sake of helping others, we put off our own self care needs. This is a common thing to see in businesswomen and mothers that tend to think of others and the tasks before them, before themselves.

Take time to do something for yourself.

Take a hot bath, read a book, take a nap or go for a workout. Do something to meet your own neglected needs to help you better cope with stress and anxiety.

Make Lists To Stay Organized To Prevent Stress

A great way to reduce stress and anxiety is to make lists.

List each big task you need to do. Then under the big task list every tiny little step you can think of. As you finish each tiny step mark it off.

Even though the overall tasks are not fully done watching the small tasks get marked off helps your mind see things getting done helping reduce your anxiety.

Delegate Tasks To Others

When your plate gets too full and anxiety takes over to start getting help. Give children chores, ask your spouse to run an errand, hire a babysitter and get away from it all for a couple of hours.

Do what you have to do to take some of the load off yourself.

Stress and anxiety can get in the way of everyday life especially in the holiday season. Often when we become overwhelmed we have a tendency to shut down and nothing gets done.

This cycle makes things worse. To reduce your stress and anxiety during the holidays you need to break the cycle of overwhelm and hopefully, this helps you do just that!

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