5 Ways to Overcome Stress and Exhaustion This Holiday Season

December 12, 2022

Valerie Cacho MD

Is your calendar packed with work events, social outings, and family gatherings this holiday season? Does it feel like you’re trying to make up for lost time from spending previous holidays in lockdown? While a joyous time, the holidays can also be a time of stress and anxiousness between the uptick in family and social commitments. With December almost halfway over, have you had time to slow down and perform a mental check in? Are you able to keep your stress levels low and energy levels high? Or do you find yourself drained from all the holiday to-do’s — so much so, that you’re unsure how you’ll make it til the ball drops on New Year’s Eve? Keep reading for tips and tricks to overcoming stress and exhaustion this holiday season. 

Reasons Why You are Stressed and Exhausted

One of the biggest catalysts to stress and exhaustion during the holiday season is the increase in social events. School Christmas concerts are back along with company holiday parties, and more people are traveling to visit friends and family. You may notice your local community sponsoring more events this year, too, like a tree lighting ceremony or caroling. On top of all that, our to-do lists are extra long (planning, buying, and wrapping Christmas gifts is no easy feat!), we’re off our normal routines, sleeping later, maybe exercising less, and treating ourselves to food and drinks not in our typical diet. With more people out and about, traffic has increased as has lines at grocery markets and department stores. These reasons are enough to cause anyone to feel exhausted.

5 Ways to Overcome Stress and Exhaustion

1) Focus on meaning

It can be easy to spiral into overwhelm with all the things we feel like we should be doing this holiday season. Take a second to pause and consider why you have the need to make it all happen in the first place? For some, it may be about creating the magic of the Christmas season for their little ones while for others it could be about creating new holiday traditions with their chosen family. Focusing on the meaning behind all the events can lessen the feelings of stress as you can remind yourself that you are making memories for years to come.

2) Set boundaries

RSVPing “yes” to every holiday party may feel fun and exciting, and can make your Instagram a lot more interesting — however, it can also be both mentally and financially taxing. Consider limiting the number of events you attend to something more manageable like one or two per week. 

3) Ask yourself if this will matter in 5 months or 5 years?

Getting real about how the decisions you make now will affect you in the long term is a big step in overcoming stress and exhaustion during the holidays. It can give you perspective to realize it won’t be a big deal if you decide to skip on sending out your family Christmas photos this year. Or if you decide to buy an apple pie and allot your newfound extra time somewhere else instead of spending the afternoon making grandma’s recipe from scratch.  

4) Take time for yourself

Time alone to recharge, reset, and recover is so important and cannot be emphasized enough. You do so much for others, please don’t forget to give yourself the same amount of love and cheer. Taking 10-15 minutes a day to do something you truly enjoy can reduce stress and exhaustion. Enjoy a warm cup of coffee or tea. Take a walk around the block. Or our favorite self-care tool, get more sleep.

5) Bring on the joy

When was the last time you laughed so hard you cried? Or smiled so much the muscles of your face felt sore the next day? How can you embody joy this holiday season? Laugh and smile at every chance you get. Your energy will be infectious, and you may become immune to holiday stress.

The holidays are an exciting time; however, feelings of overwhelm and dread may accompany it. Knowing your limits, focusing on what truly matters, doing what is best for the long haul, setting aside time for yourself, and having a joyful attitude are doable strategies to get you through the holiday season with less stress and exhaustion.  

To learn more about sleep health and wellness please visit www.sleephoria.com 

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