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December 15, 2018

Expert Tips to Alleviate Holiday Anxiety

Joyce Knestrick, PhD, CRNP, FAANP

The holidays can be the most wonderful time of the year. They can also be the most stressful. If your plans are creating anxiety, it’s time to reassess. Nearly a quarter of Americans experience “extreme stress” during the holidays, so much so that nearly half would prefer to skip them altogether.

Don’t let your anxiety get the best of you. Here are tips to help you navigate this tricky time of year.

  1. Too many decisions. From menus to presents to decorations to parties, you may be in decision overdrive, so don’t be afraid to defer to others when you’ve reached capacity.
  2. An overbooked schedule. Sometimes just looking at your calendar can cause a panic attack. Embrace the power of “no” when it feels like too much.
  3. Strained family relations. Avoid triggers and set boundaries. Do what you can, and don’t feel compelled to sacrifice your own mental health to make others happy.
  4. Pressure to have the “perfect” holiday. The holidays are festive — and unpredictable. Don’t set yourself up for disappointment by trying to make everything perfect.
  5. Complete and total overload. The holidays can be the tipping point in an already chaotic life. If you’re overwhelmed and need help, talk to a primary care nurse practitioner about coping mechanisms to get you through.

The holidays are what we make of them. Try these tips to make this one joyful and stress-free!