7 Easy Tips For Reducing Stress During the Holidays

Reduce Holiday Stress

Stress and the holidays often go hand-in-hand, but these seven tips can help you keep anxiety in check this season.

Under the best circumstance, the holidays can be hectic and stressful. If you're already dealing with a cancer diagnosis or are receiving treatment, stress around holidays can take on a new meaning.

Simple Ways to Lift Your Holiday Spirit

There’s no need to add the burden of creating the perfect holiday or feel pressure to make it exactly like previous years. Give yourself the gift of a more relaxed holiday season by taking these seven steps.

  1. Don't spread yourself too thin. It's important to recognize circumstances may not be the same this year and some family traditions may need to change. While turning down invitations isn't always easy, make sure you don't overcommit. Make self-care a priority through the holiday season.

  2. Identify your holiday stressors. Think back on past holidays and how you felt. What was happening during the most stressful moments? How did you react? When you understand what causes these feelings, you can avoid situations, people and activities that trigger it.

  3. Talk about what's on your mind. Don’t hide your emotions during the holidays. Trying to go it alone will only add to your holiday stress. Connect with a trusted friend or relative to talk, laugh, and cry—they may be feeling holiday pressures, too.

  4. Get plenty of rest. Lack of sleep can lead to stress quickly, and cancer-related fatigue can make matters much worse. Try to get at least seven hours of sleep each night, and schedule rest breaks during the day to help you keep your energy levels up.

  5. Send your friends and loved ones a holiday update. Many survivors aren't comfortable talking about their conditions during holiday get-togethers. Let friends and family know where you're at in your treatment. This can help cut down on the number of uncomfortable conversations.

  6. Watch what you eat and drink. Holiday meals can feature high-calories dishes. Overindulging can lead to regret and weight gain, which can become a long-term problem and increase cancer risks. Unhealthy eating can also negatively affect mood and physical health. Enjoy your favorite holiday fare, but in moderation.

  7. Schedule quiet time for yourself. It's easy to find yourself constantly running around and unable to find a quiet moment for yourself during the holidays. Find an activity that helps calm your mind. Just 15 minutes a day can make a big difference.