Stress During the Holiday Season Posted On

The holidays are meant to bring joy as family and friends come together to celebrate, reminisce, and create new memories.  Although the holidays are a joyous time, many people struggle with stress and anxiety as the holidays approach.  Though stress is not good for anyone, stress is especially dangerous for people in recovery, as stress may lead a person, in recovery, into a relapse.

To  continue on the path of recovery, and enjoy the holidays with lowered stress, below are some options for dealing with this, seemingly, inevitable stressful time.  As you read through these options, remember, not all methods work for everyone at a given time.  There are a variety of stress relieving activities listed below as options, since every person, and  every situation, is different. 


Physical activities of any kind are beneficial for decreasing stress.  Physical activity changes the physiology of the body.  Simply put, your insides feel better, and, therefore, you’ll smile on the outside!  Some activities include:

  • Walking
  • Running
  • Yoga
  • Tai Chi
  • Strength Training


Meditation is a great way to calm the mind and, in turn, calm the nerves.  Many people shy away from meditation believing they need to mediate for hours, which isn’t true.  To meditate, if you’ve never meditated before, here are some easy steps to follow. 

  • Start with a short time limit.  Set a timer on your phone, watch, or wherever, on a specific time, such as 2 minutes, 5 minutes, or 10 minutes. 
  • Pick a quiet place, and a comfortable position.  Whether you’re seated on the floor, laying on your back, or sitting in a chair, try not to move until your timer beeps. 
  • Focus on your body being relaxed, feel gravity pull your body towards the earth.  Focus on your belly breathing, and the air temperature as it comes in and goes out. 

It takes practice, but it may be worth it. 


There are some new studies out that state adult coloring is similar, in its effects on the brain, to meditation.   Perhaps you can try a new hobby of adult coloring books!

Humorous Videos           

Whether you’re watching a comedy movie, a comedian doing standup, or short clips that make you laugh online, watching things that make us laugh is important.  In ancient Greece, doctors would prescribe laughter as a medication for healing.  Make sure you get enough laughs in, and hopefully this will help cool down some of that holiday stress.

Healthy Eating

What you eat says a lot about how your body functions.  If you eat junk, you’ll feel like junk, but if you eat healthy, your body and mind will feel healthy.  Make sure you’re eating for the feelings you want to feel.  Eating healthy can be a great first line of defense against the holiday stresses.


Try these different types of ways to calm down the stress you may be experiencing during the holidays.  If you’re still struggling, please reach out for help by calling or texting the New York HOPEline at 1-877-8-HOPENY (1-877-846-7369).


Keep in mind that the holidays are meant to bring joy and love, and have a safe holiday season!