Surviving the Season: Coping Strategies for Holiday Stress

The holiday season is often portrayed as a time of joy, love, and celebration. However, for many people, this is not always the case. With all the added pressures and expectations that come with the holiday season, it can also be a source of stress and anxiety. From family gatherings to gift buying to financial strain, the holiday season can be overwhelming and difficult to navigate. 

In this blog post, we will discuss some coping strategies for dealing with holiday stress and making it through the season with your mental health intact.

Acknowledge Your Feelings

The first step in managing holiday stress is acknowledging and accepting your feelings. It’s okay to feel overwhelmed, anxious, or even sad during this time of year. The constant bombardment of messages telling us to be happy and merry can make it difficult to express any negative emotions we may be feeling. 

But it’s important to remember that your feelings are valid and you’re not alone in experiencing them. Take some time for self-reflection and recognize what is causing you stress, whether it be financial concerns, family conflicts, or feelings of loneliness. By acknowledging your feelings, you can start to take steps toward managing them.

Set Realistic Expectations

The pressure to have a perfect holiday season can be overwhelming. We are bombarded with images of picture-perfect decorations, lavish gifts, and happy families on social media and in advertisements. However, it’s important to remember that these images are often not reflective of reality. 

Trying to live up to unrealistic expectations can lead to feelings of disappointment and failure. Instead, focus on setting realistic expectations for yourself and your holiday celebrations. Remember that it’s okay if everything doesn’t go exactly as planned. The important thing is spending time with loved ones and creating meaningful memories.

Take Time for Self-Care

During the holiday season, it’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of gift buying, party planning, and traveling to see loved ones. However, it’s important to remember to take care of yourself as well. With all the added stress and obligations, it can be tough to ignore your own needs. However, self-care is essential to maintaining good mental health and preventing burnout. 

So, whether it’s taking a relaxing bubble bath, curling up with a good book, or going for a walk in nature, make sure to prioritize yourself and your well-being this holiday season. And if you want to treat yourself, why not indulge in a massage in Lehi? Your mind and body will thank you.

Set Boundaries

The holiday season often means spending time with family and friends, which can sometimes lead to tension and conflicts. It’s important to set boundaries and communicate your needs to reduce stress during these gatherings. If certain conversations or topics trigger your anxiety, kindly let others know that you would prefer not to discuss them. 

Or if you need some alone time, don’t be afraid to take breaks from socializing and recharge. Setting boundaries may feel uncomfortable at first, but it’s crucial for managing stress and maintaining healthy relationships.

Practice Gratitude

Amidst all the chaos and stress of the holiday season, it’s important to take a step back and focus on gratitude. Practicing gratitude has been shown to improve overall well-being and reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. Take time each day to reflect on what you are grateful for, whether it be your loved ones, your health, or even small moments of joy. 

It can also be helpful to express your gratitude to others, whether it be through a handwritten note or a simple thank you. By focusing on the positive aspects of your life, you can shift your mindset and reduce holiday stress.

Seek Support

If you’re feeling overwhelmed and struggling to cope with holiday stress, don’t hesitate to seek support from friends, family, or a professional therapist. Talking about your feelings with someone you trust can be incredibly helpful and provide a sense of relief. 

If your stress and anxiety are impacting your daily life, it may be beneficial to seek professional help. Remember that there is no shame in seeking support and taking care of your mental health.


The holiday season can be a challenging time for many people, but by acknowledging our feelings, setting realistic expectations, and prioritizing self-care, we can better manage our stress and enjoy the season. Remember that it’s okay to say no to certain obligations and prioritize your well-being. 

And if you’re struggling, don’t hesitate to seek support from those around you or a professional therapist. Let’s make this holiday season one of joy and self-care, rather than stress and anxiety. Happy holidays!

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