Feeling the Holiday Heat? Why We're More Anxious During the Festive Season and 10 Tips on How to Cope

Feeling the Holiday Heat? Why We're More Anxious During the Festive Season and 10 Tips on How to Cope

Posted by Support CalmiGo on
Holiday Anxiety Holiday Season Holiday Stress


The holiday season rolls around with its glittery promise of joy and celebration. But if you’re feeling more stressed than stuffed with good cheer, you're far from alone. Many of us find the most wonderful time of the year is also, paradoxically, one of the most anxiety-inducing. Here's a look at why our stress levels can skyrocket when the holidays hit.


All That Glitters Isn't Relaxation

The holidays come with a heavy load of expectations. Everywhere you look, from commercials to classic movies, you’re sold the dream of perfect, peaceful festivities. Trying to live up to this dream can be draining, leaving us feeling like we’re not quite measuring up when our reality doesn’t match the holiday card scenes.

The Social Whirlwind

Invitations to holiday parties can be flattering, but they can also lead to social exhaustion. For those of us who find crowds and small talk taxing rather than thrilling, a packed party schedule is a recipe for anxiety.

Feeling Like You’re on Stage

Sometimes it seems like everyone at the party is watching your every move, waiting for a slip-up. This 'spotlight effect' can be intense during the holidays, making us feel exposed and anxious when we're just trying to have a good time.

The Financial Squeeze

'Tis the season of giving, which unfortunately also means spending. The pressure to buy gifts, often with money we don’t have, can turn holiday cheer into financial fear.

Journeys Jitters

Traveling during the holidays can feel like braving the wild, wild west. Overcrowded flights, winter weather delays, and the general chaos of transit hubs can frazzle even the calmest of us.

Children’s Concerns

Kids have a sixth sense for stress. They can pick up on adult anxieties and become anxious themselves, making for a less-than-jolly holiday experience for the little ones.

The Perfection Illusion

We can thank holiday specials for our unrealistic expectations. We’re bombarded with images of the idyllic holiday setup, and when our own homes and experiences don’t match, it can feel like a personal failure.

To-Do List a Mile Long

The holiday to-do list can seem endless. Bake the cookies, trim the tree, wrap the presents, attend the concerts... it’s a lot. The pressure to complete these seasonal tasks can make us feel like we're in over our heads.

Self-Care Shortage

With all the hustle and bustle, who has time for self-care? Yet, it’s when we’re busiest that we most need to carve out time for relaxation and rejuvenation.

Asking for Help is Hard

While we may recognize, from an intellectual standpoint, that seeking assistance is acceptable, the act of reaching out can be a different challenge, especially when we're anxious and exhausted. This can be the case even in situations where it's probable that those around us are also experiencing similar feelings.


The holidays can certainly stir up a mix of emotions, and anxiety is often part of the package. But recognizing the common triggers can help us prepare and cope better.



holiday stress - to do list


Here are 10 Effective Ways to Cope with Holiday Anxiety:

  1. Embrace Imperfection: Remind yourself that it's okay if everything isn't picture-perfect. Happiness isn't measured by how well you decorate or feast.
  2. Select Socializing: It's fine to turn down an invite or two. Choose events that you'll enjoy and won't leave you drained.
  3. Shine Your Own Light: Remember, people are usually too preoccupied with their own worries to scrutinize you. Just be yourself!
  4. Budget Wisely: Create a gift budget and stick to it. Homemade gifts or the gift of time can be more meaningful than anything store-bought.
  5. Plan Your Travels: Travel off-peak if possible, and always have a backup plan. A good book or a calming playlist can be your best travel buddy.
  6. Prepare the Kids: Maintain some routine for the children and prepare them for the events to ensure they feel secure amidst the holiday chaos.
  7.  Adjust Expectations: Reality rarely matches the holiday movies. Enjoy the quirks and imperfections that make your family's celebrations unique.
  8. Tackle Tasks Together: Make holiday preparations a group activity. It's a great way to bond, and it divides the workload.
  9. Schedule 'Me Time': Prioritize downtime. A quiet walk, a relaxing bath, or a good book can recharge your batteries.
  10. Reach Out: Talk about your feelings with friends or seek professional help if the stress becomes too much. Sharing your worries can lighten your load.


Remember, you deserve the holiday season to be a time for joy and celebration, not stress and perfection. By recognizing what triggers our anxiety and taking steps to address it, we can enjoy a more relaxed and festive season.

Holiday Anxiety Holiday Season Holiday Stress

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