5 Tips for Handling Stress During the Holidays

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Holiday Stress


The holiday season is upon us – a time for peace, love, good food, family traditions…and a healthy dose of anxiety. Stress during the holidays is a common experience, but we have some tips to help you deal with the anxiety:

1. Be realistic.

The holidays don’t have to be perfect or just like last year. As families change and grow, traditions and rituals often change as well. Choose a few to hold on to, and be open to creating new ones.

2. Stick to a plan.

Plan out gift ideas, make lists and shop early. Don’t feel compelled to buy happiness with a mountain of gifts. Choose easy, uncomplicated dishes that store well when participating in potlucks.

3. Know your limits.

It’s ok to say no to some outings. Saying yes when you should say no can leave you feeling resentful and overwhelmed. Friends and colleagues will understand if you can’t participate in every project or activity.

4. Take some time for yourself.

Take 15 minutes of alone time, without distractions or the hustle and bustle of the season. Go for a walk. Read a book. Listen to music. You can just go somewhere quiet, close your eyes and take some deep calming breaths.

5. Remember the Reason for the Season.

Approach the holidays with an attitude of gratitude. Volunteering is a wonderful way to teach children the importance of service to others and to keep your head at the heart of what really matters.


Treatment for anxiety disorders can vary. The Center for Psychiatric Services – LSU Psychiatric Residency can provide treatments that include therapy, medication or specialized treatment programs. Click here to learn more.


About Glenda Natale

Glenda Natale, MSN, RN, HNB-BC, is a clinical nursing educator for the Division of Mental and Behavioral Health at Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center. She is a Board Certified holistic nurse and has authored multiple publications focused on holistic care. She received her BS and MSN in Nursing from Southeastern Louisiana University.

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