Holiday Stress

Keeping the Joy in an Often Hectic Time of YearMost children eagerly await the holidays, but for adults, the holidays can be stressful. Don’t let stress suck the joy out of your holiday season. These tips can help you keep stress under control so your holidays can be merry and bright.

Make a plan—and a budget. Money is one of the major stressors during the holidays, so get organized and make a list of what you need to buy. Try to shop ahead of time, before things are picked over and you’re under pressure. A thoughtful gift doesn’t have to be expensive. If money is tight, suggest a family gift exchange with a spending limit.

Accept reality. Guests may arrive late. Your mother may get on your nerves. The turkey may be dry. Real life isn’t a holiday special. Don’t expect perfect decorations, a perfect meal, or perfect people. Try to go with the flow and enjoy what you have.

Beware of unhealthy stress relievers. Holiday stress causes some people to fall into bad habits such as smoking, drinking, or eating too much. Think about any unhealthy habits you’re prone to
and better ways to handle stress.

Create new traditions. Stressed out by the usual festivities? Try something different. Instead of cooking a huge meal on your own, make it a potluck. Ask adults to bring gag gifts or have a “white elephant” or used book gift exchange.

Make time for your health. In the holiday rush, don’t let your well-being fall by the wayside. Try to stay on your normal sleep schedule and get regular exercise. If you can’t find a 30-minute chunk of time for exercise, break it up into three 10-minute sessions spread through the day.

Give yourself a break. In the midst of doing things for others, it’s easy to forget to take care of ourselves. If you feel stress building up, get away for a few minutes. Find a quiet corner and do some deep breathing, listen to calming music, or just sit. Or throw on a coat and slip outside for a walk.

Enjoy! The holidays are supposed to be a time of joy and togetherness. In the flurry of the holidays, we sometimes forget what we’re celebrating. Remember to savor the time with people you love.

Still need some help? Try the EAP
The Employee Assistance Program (EAP)—a confidential resource provided through GuidanceResources®—is available to you for help with personal issues which might be affecting you and/or your dependents. When you call the EAP, a counselor will spend time with you or your family member on the phone to identify the issue, gather information and provide personal assistance. When appropriate, the EAP counselor will help schedule an appointment with an EAP affiliate for a face-to-face meeting. Up to 6 sessions are provided free of charge to each employee or family member per issue.

GuidanceResources can be reached at 1-844-285-1067 or register online at Contact the Benefits Team or your manager for the Organization Web ID.