The holiday season is upon us. For many, it can mean parties, food, togetherness, and presents. But others may find the season stress-inducing. Whether you are missing an important person from your life, dealing with weight issues, becoming anxious from the demands and activity, or experiencing financial difficulties, this time of year can be hard.  Below are some strategies for coping during this holiday season:
  • Limit spending. Consider a “Yankee Swap” or “Secret Santa” instead of buying individual gifts. Set a spending cap for presents with family and friends. Homemade gifts or gifts of time (i.e., babysitting, coffee dates, etc.) may be more appreciated than things. The stress of overspending can last months beyond the holidays.
  • Set a limit on activities. You don’t have to say “yes” to every party, gathering, and activity. Pick and choose those that are important and prioritize the ones that bring you and your family joy. Everything doesn’t have to be homemade — store bought is OK.
  • Get outside. This time of year has less sunlight, which can impact mood. Spending time outside can lift your mood, provide an opportunity for exercise, and decompress. Exercise can also help with holiday weight gain.
  • If you have lost a loved one, take care of yourself. Acknowledge your loss. Share your feelings and memories of your loved one. If you are in therapy, stay in therapy over the holidays, or consider starting therapy.
  • Holidays are notorious for overindulging. Keep fruits and vegetables at home to snack on. Have a healthy snack before going to a party, which will reduce the temptation to overeat. Use smaller plates, which will limit what you can put on your plate. And don’t beat yourself up if you do overindulge, tomorrow is another day to create a fresh start.
If holiday stress or stress in general is affecting you or your dependents, our Employee Assistance Program, Lyra Health can assist you with coaching, therapy, and substance use issues. Contact Lyra at 844-926-2482 or go to

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