Holiday Stress

Published: December 14 2011


‘Tis the season for stress. While the holiday season’s supposed to represent the most wonderful time of the year, for many people holiday cheer can quickly turn into holiday jeer.

Most people suffer from stress around the holidays more than any other time of the year. Holiday activities like shopping, parties, and family gatherings can all trigger unwanted stress. University of Florida health experts say some simple things can reduce stress around the jubilee and help make the holiday season worry-free.

Dr. Lisa Merlo/UF Psychologist: “The most important thing is to keep your expectations manageable and try to minimize the amount of stress that you are adding unnecessarily into your lives. So, you don’t necessarily have to have the most decorated front porch or the most gifts under the tree or attend all the parties you receive invitations to.”

Health experts also suggest making a holiday budget and sticking to it. Spending a lot of money on gifts and entertaining can lead to stress during the holidays and after when the bills are due. Instead, spending time together or making gifts can save money and be rewarding.

Dr. Lisa Merlo/UF Psychologist: “That actually can decrease stress in two ways. One because there is not the financial aspect to it and also it is a more enjoyable kind of relaxing experience that you can have together.”

Health experts say making a few changes can prevent holiday stress from becoming a holiday tradition.