Take Back the Holidays with 4 Stress-Busting Methods

“Happy holidays!”

It’s the greeting we give and receive from just-after Thanksgiving, to right after the New Year. Yet, how many people actually feel happiness and joy during this time?

Forty-five percent of Americans would prefer to skip Christmas, according to a survey from Think Finance and reported on www.nbcnews.com. And, a new study from the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council reports that 31% of Americans feel the holiday are “frantic.” Schedules, parties and events, monetary demands, and a growing list of other to-dos all feed the freneticism.

To cope:

  • 49% turn to coffee
  • 17% turn to energy drinks
  • A whopping 74% overload on unhealthy snacks and treats
  • 60% experience guilt over their eating habits once the holidays have come and gone

Take Back Your Holidays

Enjoying the holidays can and should be a personal goal. And, it’s not one that’s hard to achieve with these simple methods from EXOS:

  1. Visualize the Positive: If you expect to encounter a stressful situation, you can prepare by living the situation in your mind.
    • Take 5 minutes to find a quiet place, close your eyes and take a few deep breaths.
    • Imagine yourself in the scene. Visualize everything intimidating or uncomfortable and notice the physical sensations they create in your body.
    • Shift your mental image to the optimal outcome. Imagine yourself handling the situation with confidence and ease.


  1. Find Balance, Daily
    • Find 10 minutes a day to clear your mind.
    • Prepare to the best of your ability for events you know may be stressful (visualize the positive).
    • Take the time to talk with friends and family.
    • Don’t forget to fuel yourself through regular, well-balanced meals.
    • Avoid overscheduling so your body and brain can reset between events.


  1. Focus on Friends and Family
    • Take the time to make in-person, 1:1 connections.
    • Set aside 3-4 hours to put your electronics down and focus on friends and family.
    • Limit your cell phone use to emergencies only.
    • Challenge yourself to not watch the clock.
    • Limit yourself to 1 social media post, and 30 minutes for browsing each day.


  1. Travel Smart
    • Drink 8 ounces of water for every hour you’re flying.
    • Limit napping to help your body adjust.
    • Avoid alcohol to decrease your risk of dehydration.
    • Adjust your watch to help your brain sync with the new time zone.
    • Try not to use caffeine to stay awake.
    • Sleep as much as you can the first night you arrive at your destination.

Planning for a less stressful holiday season isn’t about creating an easier schedule. It’s about setting the tone for the experience you desire. Breaking the stress cycle begins with a thoughtful approach and proactive planning.



In partnership with EXOS, a world leader in human performance and the management company for CU Anschutz Health and Wellness Center.

Anschutz Health and Wellness Center