Ask the Expert: 5 ways to de-stress your holidays

By Tucson Medical Center

Stress tends to show up whenever it wants, like an uninvited party guest or obnoxious in-law — especially during the holidays, when you’re trying to create magic, joy and happiness for your loved ones.

Maybe you’re frazzled by the crowded malls, planning the perfect dinner, a full to-do list or your waning bank account. Whatever the case may be, there are ways to de-stress and enjoy the season.

Celebrate the entire season

Don’t put too much stress on one day. Instead, remember the moments and kindness that have taken place all month.

Be realistic

Nobody has the perfect 1950s TV family, and that’s OK. Learn to accept (or even celebrate) your family’s quirks, lifestyles and differences.

Have fun

Go for a hike. Meet friends for drinks or coffee. Take time to breathe. And maybe even indulge a little, but also find balance. If you feel like you’ve eaten more than you normally would, grab a family member or friend and go for a walk. Do whatever you need to do to feel centered.

Ask for help

When you have a million things to do, recruit help. Ask your family and friends to do the baking so you can wrap gifts. Instead of cooking an entire meal, host a potluck.

Acknowledge transitions

For some, the holidays are tough because of loss. Take the time to celebrate cherished memories, but try to be open to new rituals. If you can’t shake the sadness, though, seek help from a professional.

It’s easy to put yourself on the back burner during the busy holiday season, but make sure you are taking care of yourself. If your body is telling you something is not right, schedule a visit with your primary care provider. If you need a provider, find one at