• The holidays can be a stressful time for many people
  • There are simple ways for people to manage their stress during this season
  • Below are some tips on coping with holiday stress

The holidays are typically a time of joy, but they can be stressful as well. Apart from the many demands of the season, from the cooking, cleaning and shopping, the way the pandemic has changed how people celebrate may contribute additional stressors to an already stress-inducing season.

Still, there are ways to cope with it and still enjoy the holidays. Here are some tips on coping with holiday stress courtesy of Mayo Clinic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Johns Hopkins Medicine.

Acknowledge Your Feelings

Although the holidays are usually associated with bliss, it's normal to feel stress, sadness or grief during this time as well. In fact, it's important to know when one is already feeling stressed out and overwhelmed and to take time to address it.

As Mayo Clinic said, it's okay to feel sad instead of forcing oneself to feel happy just for the sake of the season. And taking a little moment to acknowledge these feelings could help relieve a bit of the stress, whether by crying or simply talking to someone trustworthy about these feelings.

Be Realistic, Accept Imperfections

Sometimes, people set the bar too high for themselves and end up getting stressed out when things don't go as planned. With the holidays this year likely not looking like the holidays that we are used to, people may feel an additional level of stress.

But families and traditions may change over time, regardless of whether there's a pandemic or not. Accepting that we may not be spending the holidays with family and friends or that certain traditions may no longer be kept could help ease the stress of trying to make everything "perfect."

After all, imperfection is normal, and perhaps, some of these unexpected changes can even pave the way for new traditions.

Spend Time With Others

Everyone can feel stressed out, and talking about it helps alleviate some of it. Whether it's with someone at home or a friend one can talk to online, discussing concerns can help ease the stress and even get the support that one may need.

On the other hand, being there to help others could also help uplift the spirits of both the giver and the recipient.

Practice Mindfulness

Sometimes, stress can make people lose their focus on the things that truly matter. Thankfully, clinical psychologist Neda Gould, Ph.D. of Johns Hopkins Mindfulness Program has some tips on how one can practice mindfulness to stay ahead of stress.

Among them is responding with kindness when dealing with people who are also stressed out and not letting one stressful moment ruin one's entire day. Finding ways to make even stressful situations more pleasant by paying someone a simple compliment or performing a simple act of kindness can also do wonders.

"Mindfulness is bringing your attention to the present moment with an element of nonjudgment and acceptance," Gould said, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. "It is noticing when we get caught up in thoughts about the past or the future, and returning our attention to the present — the only reality,"

Take Care Of Oneself

Yes, the holidays are usually a time to indulge, but still having a bit of control over our habits can help alleviate the stress that we can feel even after the holidays are over. This could mean adding healthier items to the menu and getting enough sleep.

Staying active even throughout the holidays is also a good way to stay healthy and also lessen fatigue, anxiety and sadness, the CDC said.

It's important to remember that many people experience stress during the holidays. It is normal. By getting a better idea of the things that stress us out during the holidays and practicing simple ways of combating them, perhaps people can even find new ways to enjoy the season.

Pictured: Representative image of a person experiencing stress. Pixabay