Tips and Tricks to Beat Every Kind of Holiday Stress 


Photo by: Creative Commons

Blühendes Barock, Ludwigsburg Palace Ludwigsburg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany

The last few months of the year are full of reasons to celebrate, from Thanksgiving in November to a plethora of holidays in December. Though these are times of good cheer, the season can be demanding for some. Here are a few of the stresses that rise around holiday time, and some tips to manage them.


Many find the act of buying gifts anxiety-inducing. The whole process can be a lot. You have to decide on the perfect gift, find one in the right price range, and then worry about shipping and getting it there on time. There’s also a lot of pressure when it comes to the exchange. 

“I have a list for a lot of people,” said sophomore Aleesha Askari. “Every single time someone mentions something, I write it down, no matter what time of the year it is. That way, whether it’s Christmas or their birthday, I’m prepared.”

Besides making a list, another way to ease the stress is to communicate your feelings with the people you’re giving gifts to. Keep your eye out for sales, promotions, or anything that lowers the price of certain products. You can also look into less expensive options, like an experience, or something you can make yourself. Overall, it’s not the gift that counts, but the thought behind it. 

Seasonal affective disorder

Seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, is caused by the changing seasons. Symptoms liken to those of depression. It often gets worse when the weather becomes colder and the sun sets earlier. Since this falls at the same time as the holiday season, it can impact and worsen already-present anxiety. 

Though you can’t change the weather, imitating warmth and light can help. Simply putting on cozy clothes and sitting in bright areas can ease your symptoms. For more serious symptoms, consider looking into therapy or medication. 


Most holidays have a food aspect tied to them, some more than others. This can be overwhelming for people struggling with mental health, eating disorders, or even just body image. This fear can make it difficult to enjoy the celebration. 

It’s important to know that food doesn’t define your worth. Practice showing kindness to yourself by remembering that all food has value, and you’re allowed to enjoy it, especially on a special occasion. 

Family and people

Finally, the social aspect of the holidays can be stressful for many, whether it’s with family members or complete strangers, uncomfortable political talk or catching up with someone you haven’t seen in years. Holidays are a social time- you’re supposed to come together. 

“Even though you may not get along with your family all the time,” said sophomore Abby Marquez, “Holidays are a great opportunity to come together.”

Try to value the time together, however, get comfortable with putting yourself first. If you don’t want to be in a conversation, or need some time to yourself, rightfully say so and do whatever you need to relax. Foremost, you don’t want your festivities to be ruined by frustration or a low mood.