How to Reduce Stress Over the Holidays

As the holiday season approaches, learn to take control of your stress with simple steps.

From working and buying gifts to attending holiday parties, the holiday season is a time of fun, but it can also leave us feeling stressed as we try to fit every activity into our schedules.

A study on stress by the American Psychological Association found the hustle and bustle of the holidays has psychological consequences for some respondents. According to the study:

  • 38 percent of respondents feel their stress increases
  • 8 percent of respondents feel their stress decreases
  • 54 percent of respondents feel there is no difference in the amount of stress they experience

What exactly causes the stress?

The holiday season is a time when we often experience too much of a good thing, which can be a problem. Having too many activities on our plates—even if they are enjoyable—can culminate in too much holiday stress. This leaves us feeling frazzled, rather than fulfilled, according to Very Well Mind.

While it might seem impossible to reduce the holiday stress, Healthy Me PA proposes five ways to relieve the anxiety.

Four ways to reduce stress and manage your schedule at the holidays


  • Get moving


Exercise reduces levels of the body’s stress hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol. Go on a walk, or attend a fitness class.


  • Shop early


Even if you love the rush of last-minute holiday gift-buying, you can plan your lists now and buy items that might be impossible to find later. Get out, get your shopping done, and beat the crowds.


  • Volunteer


Find ways in your community that you can help. This way, you get your mind off the holidays and work out stress while paying it forward.


  • Spend time with friends and family


Having strong social ties helps you get through stressful times and lowers your risk of anxiety, according to Healthline. Enjoy your holidays by spending them with the people closest to you.