6 Creative Ways to Deal With Holiday Stress & Anxiety

The holiday season has officially begun and as much as I’m excited to deck the halls and have a great time I’m also a little nervous. This can be the best time of the year but it can also be a source of grief for many. Learning to manage and deal with holiday stress isn’t always easy but if you can prioritize what matters most to you then you’ve already won half the battle.

After all, it’s the happiest time of the year. No matter what you celebrate or what traditions you take part in this is the time of the year that all the other months are jealous about! It’s special and I don’t want you to spend a second of it feeling anxious, overwhelmed or depressed. 

So, let’s kick those potential stressors to the curb and discuss a few creative ways to deal with holiday stress, anxiety, and depression! 



Write it Out

This season can get pretty crazy. There are a ton of commitments and responsibilities that are unique to this time of the year and no, the rest of your regular tasks don’t magically disappear either. 

If you want to combat the noise take a moment to write down everything that is weighing you down. Go full on stream of consciousness and just get it all out there! Leave no stone unturned. 

You don’t have to start a legit journal. You don’t even have to keep whatever it is that you write down. Even if you open up the note app on your phone and jot down something you’ll be one step closer to bliss. Just stop to air out your feelings and you’ll find that you’re more equipped to handle your emotions and deal with holiday stress than you think.


Take a Break

There is no rule that says you have to decorate your entire home in one day. You do not need to purchase all of your gifts at once and no, you do not have to say yes to every party invite. 

Sometimes it helps to just do something for you. Take a break from the hype and do something that you love all year-long. For me, that’s painting or writing or maybe attending a concert. For you, that might be drawing or blogging or baking. Just take a moment to do something that has absolutely nothing to do with the holidays. 

There will be plenty of time to binge-watch those classic holidays films and send out the Christmas cards when you’re done.


Embrace Traditions

We all have those moments that make this time of the year all the more enjoyable. Focus on the parts of the holiday season that light you up and spend extra time doing that. A lot of you can’t wait to get your hands on those red cups from Starbucks. Instead of getting a cup every now and then why not make it more of a regular thing?

Every year I go to see the tree in Rockefeller Center. It’s one of the few tourist traps in the city that I find to still be magical. There is something about seeing that tree lit up that puts an instant smile to my face.

I also love to see the one in Washington Square Park and to walk through Central Park after the first snowfall. Really, the holiday season as a whole in the city is probably the fastest way to make me happy.

If I get overwhelmed this season I know exactly where to go and what to do. Find those experiences that you love and use them to deal with holiday stress as it arises. 



Make New Traditions

As much as I love the traditions that I grew up with it doesn’t hurt to switch things up. Make new traditions to break up your routine. Sometimes when you change course it breathes new life into stale scenarios. 

A change of pace might be all you need to combat those negative feelings. 

For instance, this year I’m feeling a little down since it will be my last Christmas season in the New York area for at least 4 years. Normally my family waits until Christmas Eve to put up the tree and the decorations but this year we’ll be doing it a lot sooner. I want to stretch out the season for as long as possible and changing up this tradition was a quick fix. 


Remember What it’s all about

So far I’ve spent quite a lot of time discussing how to get you feelings out and how to focus on positive experiences and traditions. All of those things are great ways to shift your attention away from your stress and anxiety.

Still, it helps to also remember what this whole season is all about. It’s about those shared yearly experiences you have with your loved ones. During this time of the year, there is magic in the air, people tend to be more hopeful and excited. They tend to be more compassionate and reasonable and they’re more accepting.

Of course, there are exceptions to this but the overall feeling of this season is positive.


Shift your focus

If you’re feeling run down, overwhelmed by the gifts you have to purchase or the parties you have to plan just stop and think about why you’re even doing it, to begin with. 

It’s not about getting that flashy toy for your child.

Instead, it’s about seeing the smile on their face stretch from ear to ear when they first lay eyes on it. 

It’s not about buying a new outfit for each event.

However, it is about celebrating the end of another great year with family, friends, and colleagues. 

It’s not about having the best lights to deck out your home with.

No, it’s really about that accomplished feeling that comes over you as you stare back at your dazzling home. 

No matter what you celebrate, no matter what family dramas might be rearing their ugly heads, no matter what is going on with you, it doesn’t matter. What does matter is that you learn to deal with your holiday stress now so that you can embrace and enjoy every last drop of it later. 


What do you think of these creative ways to deal with holiday stress? How do you manage the holidays?

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