December 2017 BalanceWorks Newsletter | St. Lawrence University Human Resources

December 2017 BalanceWorks Newsletter

December 2017 | Written by the work/life experts at eni


Managing Holiday Stress

Holiday shopping, meal planning, and family gatherings add excitement to the holidays, but these festive experiences can also cause a great deal of stress. From Secret Santa exchanges, to checking off everyone else on your shopping list, holiday spending can make the gift-giving season seem like more work than it’s worth. Family get-togethers and holiday parties can feel overwhelming to prepare for while trying to juggle all of your other responsibilities. Healthy eating and holiday diets may often take a backseat to on-the-go meals and busy schedules. With so much to do, buy, and see, it can seem impossible to juggle all of the holiday cheer.

Whether you are traveling for the holidays this year or planning a large family meal at your home, you can still enjoy the season! Below are a few simple tips and tricks to keep in mind to manage holiday stress.

Set Reasonable Expectations

Planning parties and finding the perfect gift can become overwhelming. It’s important to remember that everything doesn’t have to be perfect. Keeping your expectations balanced and realistic can help you to avoid a great deal of stress and frustration during the holidays.


As your gift list begins to grow, worries and stress may grow with it. Set a budget before holiday shopping begins. Sticking to a budget allows you to check off everyone on your list without feeling overwhelmed and anxious when January comes.

Take a Walk

Get out of the house and into the sunlight. When holiday stress begins to build, walking away for a few minutes to get some air and sun can dramatically decrease anxiety. Sunlight stimulates the production of serotonin, the “feel-good” hormone, while the rhythm of walking can have a calming effect.

Kick Start Your Mornings

Even in the hustle and bustle of the holidays, breakfast is still the most important meal. Eat a well-balanced meal before grabbing that morning mug of coffee. Skipping breakfast and relying solely on caffeine can dramatically spike blood sugar levels, decreasing focus and increasing irritability. Adding in a 30-minute walk each morning can further boost your mood and start each day off on a positive note.

Listen to Music

Just as exercise and eating right can balance your mood, turning up the music further relaxes the mind. Whether you are enjoying the season with a pop version of a classic holiday song, or listening to your favorite artist’s new album, music can help you beat the holiday blues.


Prioritize Responsibilities

During the holidays it is easy to get wrapped up in the gatherings and gift giving, but it is important to prioritize daily responsibilities. Scheduling daily tasks can help you to avoid becoming overwhelmed when the New Year arrives. From workday responsibilities to keeping the house clean, the holidays will go much more smoothly and enjoyably if all of your daily habits and tasks are maintained throughout the season.

Avoid Overscheduling

Even though holiday parties, gatherings, and events seem like a requirement this time of year, it is important to remain realistic when scheduling your time. If your schedule seems a bit too difficult to manage, don’t be afraid to say no.

End Your Day on a High Note

Go to bed with a positive mindset and a plan to sleep a full 8 hours, whenever possible. Turning off your devices and reading a book or simply reflecting on the positive aspects of your day can shift your mood right before drifting off to sleep. Even when 8 hours of sleep seems impossible, it is important to plan ahead to get a good night’s rest, every night.

Focus on the “Reason for the Season”

The holidays may feel like weeks of stress, events, and expectations, but ‘tis the season for enjoying relationships and looking forward to another good year. Focus on relationships and be thankful for the non-material gifts you’ve been given to kick off a new year with a positive mindset.



For more information or advice about managing holiday stress,
contact the work/life experts at BalanceWorks® by calling: 1.800.327.2255
eni’s BalanceWorks® program is a confidential 24/7 service provided by your employer to help achieve work/life balance.