December 13, 2022

How to Cope with Holiday Stress

Hallelujah! Holy ****! Where’s the Tylenol? — Clark Griswold

The holidays are often viewed as a time of happiness and joy, but for some the season may not be the most wonderful time of the year. The holidays are often filled with extra stress and can result in us feeling the weight of unrealistic expectations. It is important that during this time we find ways to manage our stress and practice self-care.

The key to making it through peacefully is to make choices that will eliminate big stressors. Here are some tips on how to eliminate stress during the holidays:

Set boundaries and stick with them.

Create a game plan on how to set boundaries to make sure you can enjoy time with family and friends without compromising your mental health. Make sure that you are only attending events that are meaningful to you. Remember that you do not need to put another person’s preferences above your needs. Remove anything from your calendar that does not bring you joy.

Make appointments for self-care activities and put them in your calendar.

With the holidays being such a busy time, it is important to schedule time for yourself. Remember that you are not able to pour into others if your cup is empty. Prioritize getting enough sleep and taking care of your body.

Practice gratitude.

When we are feeling overwhelmed, we often get caught up in negative thinking. A great way to combat this is to practice daily or weekly gratitude. Challenge yourself to find something good in each day and make note of it in a journal.

Maintain an attitude of moderation.

The holidays are often a time where we find ourselves overcome with excess — excess food, drinks, socializing and spending. It is important to practice enjoying all things related to the holiday in moderation. Try not to stress when you do indulge. Remember that the holidays are a time that we should have some special treats but be mindful and pay attention to your body.

Make a spending plan.

Remember that you do not need to break the bank just to enjoy the season. Try to create a budget so that you know what is in the plan before jumping into the holidays. Research low to no cost options you can do with family and friends so that you can maximize your celebrations.

Weekly Recipe

Cranberry Apple Farro Stuffing

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Andrea Hickle, LCSW

Authored By

Andrea Hickle, LCSW

Licensed Clinical Social Worker

As part of Kinetiq Health, Andrea provides mental health case management services to employees in a workplace setting. She consults with a multi-disciplinary wellness team to deliver comprehensive mental health care, including assessments, crisis intervention, treatment planning and individual/group therapy.

Andrea received her bachelor’s in social work from Ball State and her master’s in social work from IUPUI. She has worked in several areas of social work including school social work, mental health and macro practice. For the past several years, she has worked at Riley Children’s Hospital with psychiatry.


Meet Andrea