7 Ways to Beat Holiday Stress That Are Psychologist-Approved

Most seasonal carols and holiday Hallmark movies will have you believe the holidays aren't too stressful. "Comfort and joy," right? The trouble is that reality's often a little less A Christmas Prince and a little more Home Alone. While on the surface the holidays call for cozy fireplaces, pretty twinkling lights, and holiday cheer, there's the infiltration of family stress, financial woes, and the end-of-year hustle at work.

As positive psychiatrist Samantha Boardman points out, the absence of these factors can also lead to stress: "The holidays are especially hard on those who are alone or who have lost someone dear to them. Also, for many, the 'big questions' come to mind at this time of year, especially around New Year's—What am I doing with my life? What have I accomplished in the past year? What is it all for?—and they end up feeling badly and more stressed out as they reflect on the past year and their lives in general."

It's a crazy time for many, and the stress of trying to match up to the hopes of a perfect holiday gives way to even more pangs. True, an intrusive aunt and a workload that won't stop piling up are out of your control, but the in which way you react to them isn't. That's why we had Boardman lay out some simple practices for taking hold of your emotions, turning the dial down on the tension, and turning up the holly jolly. Take a look at her tips below.

holiday stress tips
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