Holiday Q&A: Stress Management Tips

December 12, 2016

Jennifer Price
Jennifer Price, MS LMHC
Rochester Regional Health

Q: “I feel extra stressed this time of year, what are some ways I can manage my stress?”

A: For some of us, the holiday season is time of conflicting emotions.  While we are surrounded by the joy and happiness that the holidays bring, this time of year can also be a painful reminder of lost loved ones, financial insecurities, unresolved family discord, and stress related to time management.  Additionally, the cold and dark weather can make us feel quite tired and lethargic; making it difficult to accomplish things we feel we need to do.  Regardless of the cause of your stress, there are many things you can in order to cope:

  1. Set a “no gifts” policy with friends and co-workers
  2. Keep your physical health in line
  3. Change traditions to meet your current situation.
  4. Keep things in perspective
  5. Use distracting activities
  6. Practice mindfulness by using the 5 Senses.  
  7. Release pent up stress.
If your usual coping strategies don’t seem to be helping, and you are experiencing an above manageable amount of stress, connect to the correct people and professionals.  The local area has grief support groups, mental health support groups, individual counselors and agencies available, many with low or little cost.  Seeking help when feeling overwhelmed is not a sign of weakness or failure, it is actually a sign that you are strong enough to admit when you need help, and a sign that you want to improve your ability to cope.