How to Manage Stress During the Holiday Season

Follow Us

For the latest Health Information and Wellness Tips from PIH Health.

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Instagram

Published on December 04, 2020

How to Manage Stress During the Holiday Season

Photo of a woman sitting on a couch with her hands behind her head with a Christmas tree in the backgroundThe holidays are officially here, which can be exciting yet overwhelming. During this time, it is important to try and manage stress levels to prevent holiday fatigue, depression and anxiety. Here are six tips to help you stay sane during the holiday madness.

  1. Create a holiday spending budget: A large contributor to holiday stress is finances. Purchasing gifts for family members, friends and loved ones can be overwhelming, so be sure to set a realistic budget and plan ahead. This will give you an idea of how much you can spend per person and can help you save money. If finances are especially tight during this time, try writing letters of gratitude for your family members such as a thoughtful note or card paired with some freshly baked cookies, brownies or pie!
  2. Set realistic timelines: Write out a holiday to-do list. Get out your calendar and plug everything in, such as any projects or gift purchasing you need to get done. Preparing ahead will give you a sense of ease and will help you prioritize your commitments.
  3. Do not overcommit: Do not commit yourself to more than what you are capable of. It is completely okay to set boundaries. Remember to be kind to yourself too and don’t feel bad if you cannot commit to more than you can.
  4. Practice gratitude. The holiday season is a good time to practice gratitude. Many times, we can get so lost in the running around, purchasing gifts for loved ones and the overall pressure of the holidays, that we forget to live in the present moment. Take the time to pause and think about what you are truly grateful for and soak it all in.
  5. Get an adequate amount of sleep: Getting to bed at a decent hour is the last thing on our minds during the holidays especially if you’re staying up late to wrap presents, decorate or last minute shopping. However, you may want to prioritize your sleep schedule since sleep deprivation can lead to stress, anxiety and even depression. Be sure you are getting an adequate amount of sleep which should be anywhere from 7-9 hours per night. 
  6. This too shall pass: Lastly, if you feel stressed and overwhelmed at just the thought of the holiday season, remember, this too shall pass. Take everything one day at a time, take our tips into consideration and enjoy every moment. Spending quality time with the ones that you love (in person or virtually) and living in the present moment is the true reason for the season.

If you or someone you know is struggling with depression or thoughts of suicide, there is help available 24/7. Text CONNECT to 741741 to speak with a trained counselor. Or call one of the national and Los Angeles County 27/7 crisis support phone numbers at 1.800.273.8255 or 1.800.854.7771. Visit to learn more.

The information in Healthy Living Online is for educational purposes only.  It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice.  The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation, or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan.