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  3. Holiday Stress

Managing Holiday Stress - Personal and Financial

Release Date: December 19, 2019

For many of us, the end-of-year holidays are fun times filled with family, food, and comforting traditions. For some of us, however, the holidays are a major source of stress involving financial strain, family conflict, and pressure to create the ideal holiday experience. If you find yourself experiencing stress over the coming weeks, changing the way you approach the holidays can make a big difference in helping you find joy.

Here are some tips to help you move past the chaos and pressure of the holidays:

  • Just say no. Instead of going overboard to please others during the holidays, take care of yourself by saying no to burdensome commitments.
  • Make a budget and stick to it. Financial advisors recommend that you spend no more than 1.5 percent of your annual income on holiday expenses. Consider creative ways to stretch that budget such as holding a gift exchange instead of buying gifts for everyone on your list or making handmade gifts.
  • Enjoy holiday treats in moderation. Consider having a light, healthy snack before visiting holiday parties to avoid over-indulging.
  • Stick to your exercise routine. Not only is exercise a great stress reducer, it can also help you manage the overindulgences of the holidays.
  • If you drink alcohol, pay attention to how much you're consuming: Do not underestimate the effects of alcohol and always have a designated driver at events where you plan to consume alcohol.
  • Get support if you need it. Holidays can sometimes trigger depression. This time of year can be especially hard if you are dealing with other personal, relationship, or family-related issues. It is okay to ask for help.

Your Employee Assistance Program is Here to Help

If you are finding it hard to enjoy the holidays because of personal or financial stress, contact your Component Employee Assistance Program (EAP). Your EAP can provide financial, legal, and counseling services for you and your family. Your EAP can also provide you with no-cost counseling to help you cope with stress and get you back on track to enjoying this holiday season.

Contact a DHS Work-Life Specialist at worklife@hq.dhs.gov for more information.

Last Updated: 10/27/2021
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