Self-Care During the Holiday Season

For most people, there are high expectations innately placed on the holiday season. Aside from the normal social and financial pressure of the holidays, this expectation of the “best time of the year” can create a low-level stressor. Proactively choosing to focus on wellbeing and engaging in healthy living will give you a mental and physical edge to navigate stress.

The following are some tips to consider as the holidays approach.

  • Create a budget before going into the season. You will want to have a budget for gift-giving, but don’t forget to consider expenses for travel, dinner, drinks, and any other festive events that are beyond your normal spending.
  • Set a deadline to finish your holiday shopping. If you can finish early enough, you will have time to enjoy the season and put time into giving thoughtful gifts rather than rushing through the stores.
  • During the holidays, family stress may present itself. Spending time with loved ones can bring out unwanted tension and negative emotions. Make sure that you have an outlet for managing any family issues in advance. For example, you can take a preventive step towards your mental wellbeing and schedule an extra counseling session.
  • Let your yes be yes, and your no be no. It is not necessary to say yes to every holiday party or event. Challenge yourself to say no to a couple events and give yourself a restful night at home to enjoy the season.
  • Donate your time to help those who are less fortunate. There are many opportunities during the holidays to give back to others whether through donating clothing items, serving in a food kitchen, or buying presents for families in need.
  • Balance may be a more difficult concept to attain during the holidays but aiming to prioritize your health through food choices and fitness will serve you well. Food can have a significant impact on your mood and stress levels, especially foods high in sugar and refined carbs. Meals high in protein and vitamin-rich foods will contribute to a more stable, positive mood. It can be the most difficult time of year to keep a regular routine, but exercise can help release muscle tension and burn off extra calories that will come from the holiday parties and dinners.


A great first step is to sit down with your calendar, schedule time for festivities and time for you and remember the holidays are a time for showing gratitude to others and yourself. Take care of you this season – you’ve got this.