All holidays can be stressful, however, the winter ones seem to really take a toll on people. Colder, shorter, snowy days cause us to make changes to our lifestyle, including stress coping strategies like seeing family/friends, eating out, going to movies, travel or after work outings and exercise. Then add the holidays with their own set of stressful demands such as cooking large meals, shopping, cleaning, entertaining, baking, traveling etc.

Covid-19 has affected people in various ways and will compound holiday stress. The fear of getting or causing someone you love to get sick can really add to our seasonal/holiday stress. Wearing masks when in public, around family members or at holiday gatherings also adds to holiday discomfort. We then add the fact that many more people are shorter on money this year which affects several aspects of the holidays like buying gifts and groceries or travel. I’m sure I’m not alone in contemplating who I should actually see during the holidays and who I may offend by saying “no” to a gathering.

As we are prone to say; awareness is everything. Knowing and recognizing how stress affects you, in the moment, will allow you to address it and move forward. Learning what stress relief tools work for you is key to conserving your much needed energy.  Deal with the signs as they come and you will not only improve your health but you will be able to give the most important present to your friends and family-your presence.