The festive season is in full swing, with Christmas and New Year right around the corner. While this is a time of much joy and cheer for most individuals, it can also be a stressful time for many. The anxiety to plan the perfect parties, selecting the best gifts for all family members, or hosting guests over Christmas can be distressing.

Besides coping with the holiday rush, many individuals may also be struggling with loneliness or isolation during the holidays. Even worse, some may have lost their loved ones and may not wish to indulge in the festivities. With all of these reasons being possible causes for holiday stress in 2022, there are some effective tips you can try to combat it.

What Is Holiday Stress?

Holiday Stress refers to the overwhelming feeling that some people experience during the holiday season. It could be anxiety or feeling out of control while planning the festive parties. It could also be due to loneliness during the holiday season, while others seem to be having a memorable time with their loved ones.

According to studies[1], many people experience a rise in cortisol levels between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. This rise in cortisol levels can lead to anxiety and reactionary behavior like overeating. Hence, those suffering from stress during the holidays may also experience holiday weight gain during this time of the year.

If you too struggle with stress during the holidays, then you can try some stress management techniques to enjoy healthy holidays this year.

What Are The Top Causes And Symptoms Of Holiday Stress?

Symptoms Of Holiday Stress

Some of the top causes of holiday stress 2022 could be the following:

  • Feeling Overwhelmed With Planning – One of the top causes of stress during the holidays is the amount of planning that needs to go into hosting holiday parties and get-togethers. It can make you feel overwhelmed and out of control, barring you from enjoying healthy holidays.
  • Loneliness – Another culprit behind holiday stress 2022 is the feeling of loneliness that many people go through. If you have lost a loved one this year or have to spend your holidays away from your friends and family, you may feel isolated and can be stressed out because of the same.
  • Anxiety About Socializing – While celebrating with friends and family sounds inviting, not everyone is a fan of socializing with large groups of people. Hence, some people may develop anxiety due to their upcoming social commitments. You can try holiday stress tips to cope with the same if you are not a fan of socializing.

These causes could lead to the following holiday stress symptoms:

  • Irritability – You may become snappy and irritable due to the stress of planning holiday get-togethers. Making sure that you are on top of every item on your to-do list can leave you short-tempered. Therefore, to have healthy holidays ahead, it is a good idea to plan well in advance and make a realistic to-do list.
  • Anxiety – Anxiety, and panic may strike you as the holidays approach. Be it the fear of socializing with numerous people or the anxiety of planning the perfect party. The emotions may leave you overwhelmed. As a result, you may experience sleeplessness, breathlessness, or bouts of numbness. Healthy holidays tips like meditation and mindfulness may help you out.
  • Aches And Pains – The anxiety and stress of the holidays can cause aches and pains. You may experience frequent headaches, back pain, and other types of body pain in the days leading up to the holidays. Try to destress and take some time out for relaxation to enjoy healthy holidays.

6 Ways To Manage Holiday Stress And Enjoy A Healthy Holiday Season

Planning your tasks

1. Plan In Advance

Planning your tasks well in advance can help you manage holiday stress 2022. Lists and reminders are going to be your best friends this season. Create a to-do list for each task you need to accomplish for the upcoming events. Note down the priority of each task, and complete the tasks that you can do a few days or weeks in advance. With a running list in front of you, it will be easy for you to delegate some tasks to your family members or friends, as well. Also, reminders will help you make all the necessary bookings, be it with the caterers or the decoration company, well in advance.

2. Continue Your Healthy Habits

We are all guilty of letting go of our fitness routine during the holidays. However, this is a rookie mistake that can damage both your physical and mental health. To have healthy holidays this year, make sure to keep up with your healthy habits even in December. Stick to a healthy diet as much as possible and reserve the cheat meals only for parties. Also, try to take out at least half an hour a day to exercise. It will do wonders for your mental health and help you enjoy the holidays to the fullest!

3. Be Realistic With Your Tasks

If you are a go-getter or a perfectionist, you may have made extensive plans for your holiday parties that can leave you drained. Now is the time to step back and assess your to-do list. If you feel like you have bitten off more than you can chew, amend your task list to make it more doable. Reevaluate the scale of the parties you are planning to host, the size of the menu, and even the number of gifts you plan to purchase. Make realistic changes to your plans that are achievable without causing you much holiday stress. After all, the scale of the celebrations would not matter much if you are already burnt out.

4. Practice Mindfulness

Studies suggest[2] practicing mindfulness to reduce stress during the holidays. Mindfulness refers to focusing on the present moment and emptying the brain of all worries about the past or future. When gearing up for the holidays, you may overthink things and worry too much about upcoming events. A few minutes of mindfulness every time you feel overwhelmed can help you out. There are many ways in which one can practice mindfulness. You can try breathing exercises or body scan meditation to help your brain relax and focus on the present.

5. Keep An Eye On Your Finances

Keep An Eye On Your Finances

Keeping an eye on your finances is one of the top holiday stress tips. From purchasing gifts to hosting parties, the expenses may pile up faster than you can imagine. It may lead to unpleasant shocks later or can keep you constantly worried about your budget. Therefore, you should create an approximate budget plan for the holiday season well in advance, leaving some room for unexpected expenses as well. This way, you will be covered on the monetary front and won’t have to worry about your budget constantly.

6. Reach Out For Help

To enjoy healthy holidays this year, you will need to focus on your mental and physical well-being. Don’t hesitate to reach out for help if you are feeling overwhelmed. You can ask your loved ones to help you with pending tasks and party planning. And even if you need to just let out your emotions, try to talk to someone who will lend an empathetic ear. If you feel that your stress and anxiety are becoming too much to handle on your own, you can also reach out to a therapist for professional help.


Holiday stress 2022 is upon us, and many of us might be feeling overwhelmed due to the festive hustle and bustle. You may be anxious and stressed out, due to the added planning and tasks the festive season demands. You may also be in a sad place out of loneliness if you have recently lost loved ones or have to spend the holidays alone.

So, if you are struggling with anxiety, headaches, irritability, or sadness due to the ongoing festivities, you can try holiday stress tips like practicing mindfulness and following a fitness routine to alleviate your symptoms. Plan things in advance, reach out to help when needed, and set realistic goals for yourself when it comes to hosting or attending parties.

Remember, to enjoy healthy holidays this year, you need to prioritize your mental health first. So, try these tips to soothe your mind to have a calm and cheerful festive season.