Tips and Tricks to Manage Holiday Stress

By Anne Peters, LMFT

The holidays are officially upon us! This is a time of year that brings joy and merriment, but also tends to bring its fair share of stress. The holidays during 2020? Likely bringing more stress upon us as we figure out how to celebrate in a safe way during the pandemic. Here are a few tips and tricks, from us to you, to help manage that holiday stress.

– Challenge the idea of perfection – We often strive to have holiday traditions and gatherings be just right. Things will look different this year, and that is OK. Let’s lower the bar for ourselves and accept the holidays as they come.

– Focus on what is important – What is the reason you celebrate the holidays? Is it based in religion? Is it all about togetherness? It is about peace? Remind yourself what the reason for the holiday is, and make that your focus. The rest will fall into place.

– Do less – COVID-19 and its necessary safety precautions have given us all a great lesson in this one: to simply do less. Do what makes you happy! If it makes you grumpy to put tinsel on the tree, skip it this year. If you want to buy a pre-cooked meal, go for it. This year, we can grant ourselves the opportunity to simply do less.

– Use technology – For many, holiday get-togethers will look very different for safety reasons. We are blessed with technology to be able to put us in the same room (virtually) with our loved ones. Plan some fun virtual events with your family – a cookie-baking day, a movie-watching virtual party, or some fun holiday karaoke.

– Take a walk – Let’s face it, it’s cold in Iowa in December. Walking does wonders for our mind and body though, so bundle up and get out for a walk. Try to be mindful on this walk, notice the holiday decorations and the crisp air.

Ultimately, it comes down to offering ourselves grace. Do what makes you feel good and celebrate the holidays in whatever way feels best to you. We are all in this together. Happy Holidays from all of us at LSI to you and yours!

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