Stay Sane This Holiday Season With These Stress-Busting Tips

While we all wish we could be as joyful as this Tommy Hilfiger ad, the truth is that the holidays can be kind of a bummer. From having your parents nag you to dodging elbows at the mall, all this so-called holiday cheer is enough to make even the most sane person lose their shit. To keep your stress levels from skyrocketing, we asked Lauren Zander, a life coach and founder of The Handel Group, to provide de-stressing solutions for common holiday dilemmas. Follow her practical advice for a (hopefully) more zen holiday season.
You've only been home for a day and your parents are already driving you nuts.
"People have high expectations about the holidays; you want to have a good time and enjoy yourself, but often there are conversations, issues, or certain dynamics between parents and children that have never been resolved. Those issues don’t go away just because you grew up and moved away from home. Remedy the situation by talking to your parents and sharing what you want the holiday to be like. When you and your parents know what to expect, it will be less stressful and probably a lot more fun."
You're trying to finish up the last of your shopping, but some very determined woman just elbowed you aside, grabbing the very last item on your list.
"Most of us are just trying to please people with our gifts and hoping we get it right. You don’t want to spend time and money searching for a gift that a loved one doesn’t like. The best way to diffuse the pressure of holiday shopping is to plan ahead. Do not go in blind — find out exactly what people want and start shopping early. If you get into an altercation with an angry shopper, you need to stay calm. Sometimes it’s easier to just let it go. Don’t let other people stress you out."
All of your coworkers are on vacation, leaving you saddled with more work than you can handle.
"Whenever you’re given more work than you can handle in a job situation, it can be stressful. Instead of panicking about the situation, it’s time to rise to the occasion and do a great job. Have a good attitude about the extra work — don’t bitch or complain. All it does is cause stress, torturing you and ultimately launching you into a pity party. Once you’re in a good emotional place about it, create a game plan about how to do an incredible job, so that people are really impressed with your work. The more you take care of your bosses at work, the more likely they will be to promote you in the future."
All those holiday parties are adding up to no sleep — you look and feel like death warmed over.
"There are so many holiday events in the month of December that people can get overwhelmed with all of it. Taking care of your self during the holidays is extremely important. You need to look at the holidays like a marathon. You can’t sprint out of the gate or you will burn out. It’s about moderation and deciding when you want to let loose a little bit and when you want to rest. Don’t drink more than three cocktails at parties and don’t be out late every night. If you know you’re going out, eat lighter and healthier during the day so you feel better about eating desserts or fattening foods later. Lastly, if you find yourself burning out, get some sleep. You'll feel more relaxed and less stressed if you catch up on sleep."
Photo: Via Tommy Hilfiger

More from Wellness


R29 Original Series