Updated: Dec 18, 2022
by Dr. Jen Caudle
Does this time of year get you so excited that you decorate EVERYTHING while singing “Fa la la la la," or do you turn into a holiday grinch? Regardless of which one you are the holidays are bound to bring along a little stress. Here are some ways to minimize this stress:
1) Pick and Choose- This season you will have many invitations to holiday gatherings- Yippee! This is what the holidays are for, right?! But too many holiday festivities can make you feel exhausted and overwhelmed. Instead, decide which holiday parties you want to go to and stick to your plan. Don’t be afraid to decline gatherings if you're just not up to it and if you feel bad for doing so (you shouldn't, but if you do) simply schedule intimate get-togethers with folks after the holidays.
2) Money Doesn’t Grow On Trees- Your parents probably told you this- and it’s true. You shouldn’t feel the need to overextend yourself financially during this holiday season. Remember, there are gifts that literally fit every budget. You can also think of creative cost-effective ways to celebrate and gift-give this season. Homemade cookies or baked goods and DIY gifts will not only make your gift recipient happy but will make your wallet happy as well.
3) Ask For Help- Putting up the tree, decorating the house, cooking the holiday dinner, and preparing for holiday parties shouldn’t be your sole responsibility. Ask for help! I always say, “teamwork makes the dream work!” Get your partner or kids involved, ask your family to bring dishes potluck-style for the holiday dinner, hire help for your holiday parties or simply scale back so you don’t get overwhelmed. Most importantly, don’t go it alone!
4) Don’t Booze It Up- The holidays are a time filled with food and libations! But even though indulging in food and drink may feel good at the time, it can totally wreak havoc on your body which can increase stress levels. Not only does alcohol disrupt sleep (further making the holiday season stressful), but it can have negative effects on your heart and other organs in excess. Too many holiday cookies and casseroles aren’t good either and can exacerbate underlying health conditions like Diabetes, congestive heart failure, and other conditions. Trust me- staying as healthy as possible will make the holidays- which are stressful already- a little easier.
Remember, the holidays are all about peace, love, joy, family & friends and so much more. Managing stress will help you stay happy and healthy so you can enjoy this holiday season.
Dr. Jen Caudle is a board-certified Family Physician, Associate Professor at Rowan University, tv health expert, and video creator. Sign up to receive Dr. Jen's Daily Health Tips to get daily emails (Mon-Fri) with health information you can use to live a healthier life. Follow her on Facebook,YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok.