Minimizing Holiday Stressors & Focusing on the Joy
By: Sara Krebs
The holidays are here- the most joyous time of the year!!!
Also for many, one of the most stressful times of the year.
Depending on the day and your obligations, it may seem
that one day is the most joyous, and then the next is the
most stressful. Holiday parties, shopping, planning, cooking,
squeezing extra fun activities into an already packed
schedule... How do we balance everything, enjoy the
holidays, and not let the stress of it all get to us? Here
are some tips to help you avoid and manage holiday
stress and to focus on the JOY in your holidays.
* Set realistic expectations for yourself and your family.
Remember that each of us has our own idea of what
makes the season jolly. Don't feel obligated to attend
EVERY single celebration you are invited to. Remember,
overextending yourself=more stress.
*Set a gift buying budget, and try to avoid waiting until
the last minute to avoid the holiday rush. Consider cutting
back on items bought and focus on time spent with loved
*Find healthy ways to de-stress regularly during the holidays
- go for a walk, attend an exercise or yoga class, relax and
listen to some music. Schedule REFRESH or RELAX time into
* Remember to take care of YOU so you can feel your best
during holiday celebrations. Often this is a time that many
allow their exercise, healthy eating habits, sleep habits, etc.
to slip. Work to keep as much of your "normal routine" as
you can. A healthy and well rested YOU is a happy YOU!
*If you choose to drink alcohol at celebrations, do so wisely:
make sure you have a plan for getting home safely, have a
designated driver, pace yourself (have no more than one
drink per hour), make every other drink a nonalcoholic one.
For more information on how to celebrate safely this holiday season, visit:
And...as you are enjoying the holidays safely, remember
that there are many people who struggle with the holidays
for various reasons. Please try to support those around you that may be struggling in positive ways.
With the very recent release of the Surgeon General's Report
on Alcohol, Drugs and Health, we continue to work to increase prevention programs and treatment programs for those with substance use disorders. As you take a few moments to slow down this holiday season, I would also
urge you to take a look at the "Facts and Recommendations for Communities" from the Surgeon General's Report to see how you may be able to help in our community. Link to:
Remember that the Gratiot County Substance Abuse Coalition
meets the second Monday of the Month. Our next meeting is December 12th at 1 p.m. in Ithaca at the RESD, we
are always looking for more community involvement in the Coalition.
Have a Healthy Happy Holiday Season!