Holiday season means shopping, baking, cleaning, parties and often times – holiday stress. Check out these practical tips from Nurse Rose Melendez, RN, on minimizing stress to enjoy the holidays.

Why Are the Holidays Stressful?

Recognizing your triggers is the first step to minimizing holiday stress. Everyone handles a busy schedule or responsibilities differently. Many people feel stress around the holidays caused by:

  • Family responsibilities and expectations
  • Finances
  • Memories of lost loved ones
  • Event Planning
  • An overabundance of activities like family parties or work gatherings

What Are Some Symptoms of Stress?

Stress can manifest itself in many different ways. Some symptoms of stress can include:

  • Anxiety
  • Sadness
  • Headaches
  • Irritability
  • Inability to sleep
  • Body tension or pain

How Can We Manage Holiday Stress?

Some tips to manage stress this holiday season are:

  • Plan ahead. Set specific days for shopping, baking, visiting friends and other activities to help prevent last-minute scrambling.
  • Pace yourself. Spread out your activities and obligations so you can enjoy them more.
  • Do something kind for others. Volunteer at your local community center or donate to a gift drive. Studies have shown that people who give back feel a sense of joy and satisfaction.
  • Find free activities. Check out your local newspaper or community Facebook groups and websites for free holiday events, or stroll through the town to see decorations.
  • Save time for yourself. Incorporate time for exercise, meditation, reading or other routines that help you to decompress.

Talk to a Professional

If you continue to struggle with anxiety that holds you back from your everyday activities, talk with a mental health professional or your primary care doctor.

Rose Melendez, RN

Rose Melendez, RN

Head of Emergency Department

Rose Melendez, RN is the head of the Emergency Department and Nursing Administration at Adventist HealthCare White Oak Medical Center. Tune into WGTS 91.9 FM every Wednesday at 7:40 a.m. to listen to Nurse Rose live on the radio.

Need help managing stress? Call 800-204-8600 for a mental health consultation.