Four Ways to Reduce Holiday Stress

Reducing stress improves health, happiness, and habits.

Holidays can be stressful, with gifts to purchase, gatherings to attend, and end-of-the year projects to complete. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed with the many things people are expected to juggle this time of year, but there are some things you can do to manage stress. Use the four tips below to help you feel more at peace during this busy season, both at home and at work.


  1. Attitude: Monitoring your attitude plays a vital role in stress management. Try to keep thoughts and comments positive. It’s impossible to completely eliminate negative thoughts, but dwelling on them makes them worse. If you have an unhelpful thought, recognize it, but then let it pass. Pay more attention to the things in your life that you value. Cultivating a sense of gratitude lifts your mood and contributes to overall better physical well-being. If you still struggle with anxiety, try to reframe your perspective. Recognize the circumstances you cannot control, and focus on your reaction to events.
  2. Boundaries: Eliminate the stressors in your life that you can control. For instance, if you are constantly worried about work, consider creating boundaries to make your personal and career balance clearer. Turn off your phone and e-mail on weekends. Coworkers will learn your schedule. If you’re continually available, others will expect you to reply to e-mails, phone calls, and appointments 24/7. Once you set a new schedule, expectations will evolve as well.
  3. Health: Take care of yourself. Make sure you are getting enough quality sleep, which recharges the brain and helps you have a clear head the next day. Eat balanced meals regularly, as diet can affect mood, health, and energy. If you’re especially stressed, take a break. Focus on your breathing and be mindful of the present moment. When you calm down and return to your task, you’ll have a better mindset.
  4. Support: Use a support system. At work, if you feel like you have too much on your to do list, learn to delegate to coworkers. Talk to your supervisor for ideas. Recognize when you need assistance and ask for it. You can also use a support system to bounce ideas off of others who might have new insight. Friends and family are good at listening if you need to vent, or gain fresh outlooks.


Sometimes it’s difficult to slow down and take the appropriate steps to keep stressors under control, but the benefits of treating stress are significant. Reducing stress can eliminate headaches, improve sleep, aid concentration, lower blood pressure, and boost the immune system. Try these tips to manage the stress in your life.


To allow employees to spend time with their families, Penmac offices will be closed on Christmas Day, December 25, 2014.

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