Dealing With Holiday Stress? Read This.


Lydia Comprosky, Journalist

Mental health is an important part of everybody’s life. In life, there are lows and there are highs. Some lows come around the holiday season, and now with the pandemic, there is added stress. We all have been under pressure with this hard year, so it is understandable to have a lot of stress. Don’t worry; you are not alone. 

According to the ASA, “The average reported stress level over the past month related to the Coronavirus pandemic for parents of children under 18 is 6.7 (out of 10), compared with 5.5 for adults without children, with nearly half of parents (46%) saying their stress level is high…compared with 28% of adults without children who say the same.” That’s just the Corona stress, but the percentages are even higher with holiday stress. From All One Health, “Holiday stress statistics show that up to 69 percent of people are stressed by the feeling of having a ‘lack of time.’ 69 percent are stressed by perceiving a ‘lack of money,’ and 51 percent are stressed out about the ‘pressure to give or get gifts.” That is a lot of people when you think about it. A great number of people are struggling with stress. It’s the stress that could even evolve into anxiety or even depression. 

In my interviews, I talked to my mom and my brother about if they get stressed around the holidays. My mom said, “Usually yes, I am stressed because I need to find gifts, Christmas cards, etc. It is a busy time at work, so it makes me a little angry that I can’t join more of the holiday spirit.” While my brother said, “Yes because I want to please the people.” These are two people who are living different lives but still deal with the same stress around the holidays. Now since COVID is even more present around the holiday season, it is scarier to buy presents in a possibly unsafe store. Even with flu season coming around, there’s more pent-up stress because we don’t know what will happen. 

Also, I talked to a fellow senior classmate, Jillian Gregory. She said that stress around the holidays depends on certain factors in her life: “It depends on how school is going. I don’t usually have stress when dealing with the decorations and stuff. My parents help with that. Especially now that there is no pressure for people to be there I feel like it is easier. Holidays are the best.”  Additionally, it’s different for teens and adults. In the long run of the holiday season, COVID is adding more stress to our parents than us.  

You might be asking, how do I handle the stress? There are many things that you can do to make yourself feel better and more relaxed. For example, Jillian suggests, “Have mental health days, where you can focus on yourself and relax.” My mom says, “Running. It gets all the serotonin going and regulates my mood.” However, there are also unexpected stress relievers. My brother said, “Video games or mind-melting because it distracts you from the real world.” My mom, brother, and Jillian all have different ideas of self-care and I have some too. I recommend wearing a beauty face mask, reading, dancing to your favorite music, taking a nap, journaling, ranting, hanging out with friends (safely), etc. 

Most importantly, just be you. Do whatever makes you happy because it is okay to not be okay. No one should tell you that you can’t be stressed, especially with the world we live in right now. Don’t listen to them because your mental health matters first. Although, you should remember to check up on your friends and make sure they are okay too. Overall, stress comes and it goes, but just know no matter what, it is okay to not be okay.