Tips for reducing holiday anxiety

Holiday Anxiety Tips

The holidays are meant to be a time of joy. Yet, much of what contributes to the joy of the season requires careful consideration and planning.  Many people are  stretched thin with additional responsibilities during the holidays. This can feel like a burden and create feelings of anxiety and stress. These feelings can lead to a sense of guilt that you are not able to fully appreciate all the joy that the holiday season brings. The stress, anxiety and guilt can become overwhelming. This can impact our ability to enjoy the holiday and interfere with our overall day to day functioning.  You can stop this cycle and redefine what holiday joy means in your life, for your own family. 

What’s the good news?

The good news is that you are the author of your story.  The holidays can be whatever you want them to be and whatever you have room for in your life. The secret is simple.  Give yourself permission to let go external pressures that have been weighing on you.  Give yourself the time and space to consider what is important to you.  Think about what you want your holiday story to be.  Allow yourself to say no to things that don’t fit in your life right now.  Be okay with less, if less is what is right for you this holiday season.  

christmas tree

5 helpful hints for reflecting on your own personal joy this holiday season: 


  • Remember that good enough is good enough: You don’t have to find the perfect gift or run yourself ragged for the one thing that everyone wants but it’s sold out. Remember that at the end of the day, children very often have trouble recalling gifts but always remember special moments.  
  • Manage your own expectations: Reflect on the things that are most important to you this holiday season and be sure that your behavior matches those beliefs. Very often we can get caught up doing things out of habit or guilt when it isn’t truly what is important to us. 
  • Comparison is the thief of joy: Remember that when someone shares a story about their holiday that feels perfect we can acknowledge it and feel happy for them but not feel compelled to do the same thing. 
  • Prioritize taking care of yourself: Do your best to maintain your schedule. Continue to practice any healthy living habits that alleviate your stress during non-holiday times (working out, eating healthy, reading, time with family/friends). 
  • Make lists, prioritize, delegate &  ask for help: Much like we do in day to day life it is important for us to maintain the strategies that keep us grounded and help us achieve our goals.  


Finding Christmas Joy

Remember that joy can be found in a lot of places and not just wrapped up in boxes. Sometimes joy is found in extra time together, shared meals and experiences. Anxiety and stress can make it difficult to find joy but not impossible.  Managing your anxiety through the helpful tips above will allow you to feel more in control and thus be more available to access the JOY in your life! Therapy can help! We are here for you!