5 Ways to Stay Less Stressed Before the Holiday

5 Tips for Reducing Stress During the Holidays

Are you a little short on merry and bright this time of year? Feeling more no, no, no than ho, ho, ho? If you get a bit overwhelmed during the holidays, you're not alone! Increased stress around the holiday season is common, and "festive stress" is real. We want to share some practical tips and resources so you can try to minimize the stress that often accompanies the holidays.

1. Take Time for Yourself

    • Practice deep breathing exercises – Breathing exercises can reduce tension, heart rate, and even blood pressure. Learn about recommended breathing exercises by WebMD you can do to help relieve tension and stress.

    • Make time for yourself - Self-care techniques can include meditation, journaling, reading a book, taking a bath, doing yoga, and meeting up with friends. Try giving yourself some quiet time, without the phone.

2. Take Care of Your Health

    • Drink lots of water – The Stress Management Society recommends drinking a glass of water to feel more energized and better address stressful situations. Dehydration can result in higher cortisol levels, which can lead to mild headaches and fatigue as well as more severe symptoms.

    • Get a good amount of sleep - This is the peak season for colds and other illnesses. Making sure to get a good night's rest can help strengthen the immune system.

    • Stay active if possible - Simple and quick activities, such as working out for 30 minutes, can boost mood and energy levels.

    • Avoid bladder irritants – Alcohol, caffeine, carbonated beverages, chocolate, and spicy foods can all irritate the bladder causing more frequency and urgency. While it can be tempting to overindulge during the holidays, try to stick to your normal diet.

3. Plan Ahead as Much as Possible

    • Create a budget - According to Bankrate, nearly 1 in 4 people feel financially burdened by the holidays. It can be helpful to set a holiday budget in advance and stick to it. Look for low-cost ways to celebrate. Consider hosting a home-cooked meal rather than going out. Passing on a beloved book or writing a poem can be truly meaningful gifts your loved ones will cherish for years to come.

    • Plan your holiday meal ASAP – Put together your menu and shopping list and get all of the necessary items for each dish ahead of time if possible. Grocery stores get busier, and more stressful, as the holidays approach. Many stores offer home delivery allowing you to skip the crowds.

    • Ensure timely delivery of products and supplies - Make sure you order early enough to get items when you want them. If you use incontinence products and/or supplies, consider NorthShore's Auto-Ship program to handle your supply orders. This subscription program automatically ships your orders on your schedule. If you have questions on how to plan your supply orders during the holidays, call NorthShore at (800) 563-0161.

4. Keep Open Communication with Family and Friends

    • Plan ahead - To ease the stress of holiday preparations, discuss with family members and friends who you will be spending the holidays with to go over, ahead of time, expectations about meals and activities.

    • Talk it out - Talk to friends and family members about the stress you're going through. Most people will respond in a supportive manner. 

    • Delegate tasks and responsibilities - It's alright to share responsibilities by asking others to help. 

    • Reduce gift-giving – It may seem drastic but not giving gifts can reduce stress and save a lot of time. Instead, think about donating to a charity that's important to your family.


5. Say "No" or Reschedule Meetups

    • Prioritize your time – Overcommitting to connecting with family and friends can cause unnecessary stress. Schedule your time so you can have fun and push other get-togethers to after the holidays. Your friends and family are also trying to juggle busy calendars, they might appreciate one less commitment this month.

    • Rethink the office gift exchange – Office parties and Secret Santas can be fun, but if you feel like it's going to be too much to shop for the perfect gift, consider not joining this year.

Many of us experience some level of stress during the holidays, but self-care, exercise, and setting priorities can help you discover some peace & joy this season. From all of us at NorthShore, we wish you a Holly Jolly Holiday and The Most Wonderful of New Years!