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Top 5 Tips for Managing Holiday Stress & Anxiety

The holidays can be wonderful, but they can also increase stress and trigger anxiety. Even people who really love the holidays and look forward to them all year long can find themselves failing to enjoy the holiday season as their to-do list grows alongside their stress and anxiety. In this blog, we’re going to share our top five tips to relieve holiday-related stress and anxiety, so you can actually enjoy your holiday season.

1 – Learn to Say No – And Mean It

Otherwise called setting boundaries, learning to say no and stick to your no can be especially important during the holidays. It’s difficult to say no to things, especially at the holidays, but saying yest to every request or invitation can quickly strip the fun and joy out of the holiday season. When you need to, it’s okay to say no. You can’t do it all, and that’s okay.

2 – Give Yourself Permission to Rest

There’s so much to do during the holidays. It seems like whenever you mark one thing off the to-do list, three more pop up. That doesn’t mean you don’t need to rest. The holidays are about getting to spend time with loved ones and participating in traditions, but they should also be about taking time to rest and relax.

3 – Shut Down Your Nosy Relatives or Harmful Interactions

One source of stress at the holidays is potentially painful interactions with loved ones. We know it can be difficult to spend time with loved ones, especially when we’re worried about what they might say. When you find yourself worrying about interactions with loved ones at the holidays, alleviate your worries by trying to come up with some good ways to shut down these interactions. Consider responses like:

  • I understand how you feel, and we don’t need to agree on this. I love you, and I would like to have a good holiday.
  • Can we talk about this at another time? I would just like to focus on enjoying my visit and the holiday together.
  • I see why this is important to you, and I recognize that you’re expressing these opinions because you care about me. However, some of what you’ve said is hurtful, and I would rather not continue talking about this now.

You can also reach out before any event where a potentially problematic loved one will be present. Chat with them about your concerns and try to avoid the situation before it begins.

4 – Do the Basics

You need to bathe, eat, stay hydrated, sleep, and get exercise. If you can’t do all of those things and keep up with your holiday to-do list – it’s time to cut something from the list. It’s okay to give yourself permission to do these important self-care tasks. Remember, you won’t have the energy or feel your best as you go through your holiday if you don’t prioritize taking care of yourself.

5 – Schedule a Therapy Session

Whether you’re brand new to therapy or you’ve done therapy in the past but it’s been awhile since your last session, scheduling a visit with a therapist during the holidays can be an important way to relieve holiday-related stress and anxiety. If you live in or near New York City, we hope you’ll consider scheduling a visit with one of the trusted therapists at the Center for CBT in New York City. You can get started today by calling us at (917) 596-8955 or by completing our online scheduling request form. We look forward to hearing from you, and in case we don’t see you, please have a safe, happy, and healthy holiday season.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash


What Should I Do Next?

When you’re ready to begin therapy, we hope you’ll consider contacting The Center for CBT in New York City. We offer a safe space where you are free to be who you really are and express yourself and your values authentically. We embrace, value, and welcome people of all sexual orientations, genders, and racial identities. The Center for CBT in New York City makes beginning your therapy journey simple. You can get started any time by completing our online consultation request form. One of our team members will be in touch within 24 business hours to answer your questions.

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