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Coping With Holiday Stress

Written by Vicki Hinze

On December 20, 2008

Holidays are supposed to be happy times of celebration. Times when friends and families gather and share the joys of the season.

So why then are holidays the most stressful times of the year? Why do suicide rates soar? So many suffer depression and others are absolutely miserable?

In part, the very thing that brings us together–holidays–also brings to bear the greatest stresses.

Here are a few of the substantial stressors that magnify during the holidays:

Additional tasks.

There are more obligations and social events to host and/or attend. Gifts to buy, special meals to shop for and prepare, trees, houses–inside and out–classrooms, offices, stores or other workplaces or additional places (church, lodge, club) to decorate, presents to wrap, cards to send and a multitude of other preparations to make. Social obligations/engagements require extra preparation time (program practices, dishes to make, clothes to wear selected or shopped for, haircuts and so on).

If others are “coming home for the holiday” to your home, as glad as you’ll be to see them, that’s more tasks on your To-Do List. If you’re going home, there are travel plans and packing, making sure the car is ready for the trip or tickets to purchase and schedules to coordinate, and much more.

Holidays–even when we are looking forward to them–break routines and place extra demands on our schedules. They require preparation that demands extra efforts from us. If your schedule is normally hectic, during the holidays it can become frantic.

What can you do? The extra work isn’t going to minimize just because you wish it would. That means you have to act to make the effort less stressful. Here are a couple tips:    READ MORE…


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