5 Tips to Avoid Holiday Stress

Written by Jackie Calkins

Do the upcoming holidays have you feeling stressed? If so, you aren’t alone. Unfortunately, even though there is a lot of happiness and joy around the holidays, there is also time crunching chaos at times, too. If you are in recovery from a mental health disorder or addiction, the holiday stress may get to you even more. The good news is that there are 5 excellent tips to help you avoid holiday stress that you can start implementing today.

Follow Through with Healthy Habits 

The holidays are coming up whether we are ready or not, so let’s make an agreement to follow through with healthy habits this holiday season. For instance, if you haven’t been moving around a lot, commit to taking a 5-minute walk twice a day throughout the next few months. Maybe, give yourself one day off per month. Some other healthy habits that you may want to stick with throughout the holidays are:

  • Eating healthy
  • Always eating a good breakfast
  • Waking up and going to bed around the same time each day
  • Limit the amount of sweets you have
  • Get around 7 hours of sleep every night

If you can keep up with these healthy habits, or even most of them, you will find your stress levels to be a lot lower this holiday season. 


If you are trying to follow through with these healthy habits, but you are still struggling with high stress levels, you may need professional mental health treatment. You can get started with this type of treatment by contacting our Journey Pure at the River team today. 

Watch Out for Seasonal Sweets

When the holidays come up, so do the treats. There are Rice Krispies treats, homemade cookies, rock candy and so much more. Unfortunately, no matter where you live, it can be difficult to get away from the seasonal sweets. They are lining the aisles of the stores and on almost every table throughout the holiday season. With this being said, you may want to set a limit for how many seasonal sweets you can have. For example, when you go to your grandmother’s house, maybe only eat 2 cookies, instead of 5. If you want more seasonal sweets, maybe you could look up healthier candy and cookie recipes to replace the ones that aren’t that great for you. 

Keep Yourself Active 

One of the most important tips that can help you to avoid holiday stress is to keep yourself active. You may already feel like you are active enough with all the running around you have to do around the holidays. However, a lot of that may be driving and spending time sitting with family members and friends. It is important that you take designated time to sprinkle some exercise into your daily routine. It could be a 10-minutes on a treadmill, taking a walk indoors, doing pushups in the morning, holding a plank every afternoon or any other basic exercises. If you have a gym membership, the fall and winter seasons would be a great time to use it, since the weather isn’t the greatest outdoors. 


Not very good at keeping yourself active? Don’t worry. Maybe you could try to enlist the help of a family member or friend. They could be your workout buddy. 

Give Yourself Downtime 

Everyone needs downtime every day. The problem is that during the holiday season your mind and body might be racing from one activity or event to the next. By the time you realize it, your day is over and you have to start the next day right off the bat, too. 


If you find your days are filled with stress around the holidays, that is a more important time than ever, to give yourself downtime. By allowing yourself to take breaks, you can bring more peace and relaxation into your life. You will also be able to enjoy the holidays more being that you will have less holiday stress. 


Some of the ways that you can give yourself downtime this holiday season include:

  • Making yourself healthy treats
  • Practicing yoga
  • Doing meditative exercices 
  • Spending time outdoors 
  • Watching a movie
  • Taking a nap

These are some of the many different ways that you can get time to relax during this holiday season. If you are still feeling overwhelmed no matter what you try to do, reach out to our Journey Pure at the River team for assistance today. We have a variety of therapies and other treatments that can help to reduce your stress and anxiety levels. 

Make Your “New Year” Plan 

Even though the holidays aren’t quite here yet, that doesn’t mean that you can’t work on your “New Year” plan. In fact, if you are feeling stressed about everything that is coming up, this could be an excellent time to make your “New Year” plan. Some of the things that you may want to consider when creating this plan include:

  • Did time seem to go too fast this year? If so, how can you slow things down this coming year?
  • Are you feeling okay physically? If not, what can you do differently to feel better this coming year?
  • How are your relationships doing? Do you think that family therapy could help with some of the things you and your loved one struggle with? 
  • Are you or a loved one abusing alcohol or drugs? If so, a great New Year plan could involve addiction recovery treatment. 

When you are looking at the new year, consider all aspects of your life. Take notes, write in a journal or talk to your loved ones. 

Use These Tips to Avoid Holiday Stress Starting Today 

Just about everyone experiences some holiday stress through Thanksgiving to the New Year. However, some people have more stress than they would like to have around the holidays. If you want to avoid or get rid of holiday stress, hopefully, the tips that our Journey Pure at the River team shared with you above, will be enough to help you feel more relaxed and at ease this holiday season. If you need further assistance lowering stress or anxiety levels, contact us today to get the treatments you need.