The holidays are a festive time of year, and they can also be stressful!  Learn how stress affects you and how to manage holiday stress in healthy ways this season.

Stress Management Tips for the Holidays

Stress Reactions:

Learning how stress affects you is an important part of stress management.  A typical stress reaction may include:

  • temporary difficulty concentrating
  • irritability and anger
  • fatigue
  • stomachache
  • difficulty sleeping

Stress reactions to watch out for my include:

  • an ongoing/overwhelming worry that
    keeps you from living everyday life
  • excessive irritability and anger
  • significant changes in your energy level, eating patterns, or sleep
  • not finding enjoyment in things you normally love
  • feelings of hopelessness
  • thoughts of self-injury or suicide

If you or a loved one express these stress warning signs, reach out for support!  Your IHG care team is here to help.  Reach out via your patient portal or phone for care options that may be of benefit.  For more immediate crisis support, including confidential care, use the following resources:

Need help?

  • 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline:
    Call or text 988 or chat
  • Crisis Text Line: Text “Got5” to 741741
  • NY Project Hope Emotional Support Line:
  • Trans Lifeline:
  • The Trevor Project
    Call: 1-866-488-7386 | Text: START to 678678
  • NYS HOPEline: (Problem gambling and chemical
    dependency hotline)
    Call: 1-877-8-HOPENY | Text: HOPENY
  • The NYS Domestic and Sexual Violence
    Call: 800-942-6906 | Text: 844-997-2121 | Chat:

Practice these tips throughout the holidays to help you manage stress:

Get organized:

Consider using a planner, calendar, or other organizational tool to help you keep track
of what you have on your plate. Having all your commitments laid out in front of you can help reduce stress.

Set boundaries:

When we give too much of ourselves to others, we can become stressed and resentful. To protect your mental health, figure out what commitments, gatherings or events feel good for you, and brainstorm ways that you can protect your mental energy when you’re doing them.

Practice Good Self Care:

When you have a lot on your plate, it's easy to neglect taking care of yourself.  Make it a priority to:

  • Move your body.
  • Bundle up and spend time outdoors
  • Eat health foods.
  • Get enough sleep
  • Get enough light/Vitamin D
  • Avoid using substances to cope with your stress

Let go of the nagging “I should” feeling:

Just because others are doing certain holiday traditions, doesn’t mean you should. There is no ‘should!’ Focus on what feels good. It’s okay to skip things that don’t bring your family joy, or even take a year off from a tradition.  Remind yourself of that the holiday season means to you, and prioritize what matters most!

Practice mindfulness:

Things like meditation, grounding exercises and deep breathing can be helpful
when you’re overwhelmed.

Stay connected to your support networks:

Isolation and loneliness feeds anxiety, especially during the holidays. Find ways to reach out to family, friends, colleagues, faith-based communities, and social organizations.  For many reasons, we may not all be able to gather physically together with the people we love this holiday season, but that doesn't mean we can't continue to be in each others lives.  Pick up your phone and call or Facetime a support buddy!

Find or create spaces that are not focused on your holiday to-do list:

Have fun! Find time to do the things that make you feel good this holiday season, whether they are holiday-related or not.  Get outside and enjoy the change of the seasons or partake in a cozy indoor hobby.

Be mindful of what you consume on social media:

Try not to compare yourself to what you see online. People tend to post their best lives
on social media and you rarely see the stress and anxiety behind that perfect picture. Everyone struggles sometimes even though we may not talk about it on social media.

Stay connected to services:

If you live with a mental health condition, the stress of the holiday season can be tough to handle. Stay connected to your mental health provider and stay honest about how you’re doing.  Your IHG care team is hear for you with judgement free support.  Reach out when you need help or have a concern about your health or wellbeing.

Check in on your friends:

Chances are, you’re not the only one feeling the pressure of the holidays. Relating
to peers can help you feel connected this holiday season.  And you never know how much of a positive impact checking in on friend or loved one may have on their own health and wellbeing!



Stress management tips courtesy of Office of Mental Health NY  

Find their full list of tips as a printable document here!



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