Dec. 20, 2022

5 Simple Ways To Manage Stress and Anxiety During the Holidays

5 Simple Ways To Manage Stress and Anxiety During the Holidays

The holiday season is a time for celebration and joy, but for many people, it can also be a time of increased stress and anxiety. Between the pressure to buy the perfect gifts, host the perfect party, and maintain family traditions, it's no wonder...

The holiday season is a time for celebration and joy, but for many people, it can also be a time of increased stress and anxiety. Between the pressure to buy the perfect gifts, host the perfect party, and maintain family traditions, it's no wonder that so many people feel overwhelmed during this time of year.

In today’s episode of The Fit Mess, we’ll share 5 ways you can manage your stress and anxiety during the holiday season

First of all, it's important to recognize that it's normal to feel stressed during the holidays. There's often a lot going on, from shopping and gift-giving to holiday parties and family gatherings. But that doesn't mean you have to just accept feeling stressed out. Here are some tips for managing stress during the holiday season:

  1. Set realistic expectations. It's okay to want to have the perfect holiday, but it's important to remember that things don't always go as planned. Don't put too much pressure on yourself or others to make everything perfect.
  2. Take breaks and make time for self-care. It's easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holidays, but it's important to take breaks and make time for yourself. This could be something as simple as taking a few deep breaths, going for a walk, or taking a hot bath.
  3. Don't over-commit. It's okay to say no to invitations or events that you don't have the energy or desire to attend. It's better to focus on the things that are most important to you and that you truly enjoy.
  4. Stay healthy. It can be tempting to indulge in all the holiday treats and skip your regular exercise routine, but taking care of your physical health can help reduce stress. Try to make healthy choices, such as eating balanced meals and getting regular exercise.
  5. Seek support. If you're feeling overwhelmed, it can be helpful to talk to a friend or loved one about how you're feeling. You can also consider seeking the help of a therapist or counselor if you need additional support.

Remember, it's okay to feel stressed during the holidays. But by following these tips and finding healthy ways to cope, you can better manage your stress and enjoy the holiday season.

Don’t let the conversation end there. Join us in our Facebook Group where you and fellow Fit Mess listeners can connect for monthly challenges, accountability to reach your goals, and a supportive community. 

Like this show? Please leave us a review here – even one sentence helps! Post a screenshot of you listening on Instagram & tag us so we can thank you personally!


Get your Free One Year Supply of Vitamin D + 5 Travel Packs from Athletic Greens!

Contact Us

If you enjoyed this episode, check out:

4 Things You Can Do Now To Manage Change And The Stress That Comes With It


SOLO-Holiday Stress - USB + 3

Jeremy: [00:00:00] The holiday season is a time for celebration and joy, but for many people it can also be a time of increased stress and anxiety between the pressure to buy the perfect gifts, host the perfect party, and maintain family traditions. It's no wonder that so many people feel overwhelmed during this time of year.

In today's episode of The Fitness We'll Share five ways You can manage your stress and anxiety during the holiday season.

Zach: But first, this is the fit mess. We're together, we learn to develop habits that help us live beyond our mental health struggles to create happier, healthier lives.

Jeremy: He's Zach. He lives in the future with his.

Zach: He's Jeremy and he lives in the past with his depression, and we get together once a week in the present to share the obstacles we face and how we overcome them. 

Jeremy: Zach guess how much Christmas shopping I've done?

Zach: All of it?

Jeremy: None of it. Not, not even a little bit.

Zach: You're.

Jeremy: but we're gonna try and scramble out to the stores like all the other suckers, grab up a few things, stuff 'em in boxes and bags, and show up right on time.

For the 45 Christmases [00:01:00] that everybody has to celebrate with families scattered all over the place, there's no stress involved at all. Like what's, what's the big deal? This is the happiest time of the year, right,

Zach: Absolutely. I mean, it's the happiest time of the year for me because I take like a week and a half off

Jeremy: Exactly.

Zach: and like the present part is not that important for me, but. Most of my shopping's already done.

Jeremy: Oh, very nice, very nice. But it hasn't all been smooth sailing for you because your Thanksgiving was, uh, a bit stressful from what I understand.

Zach: well the Thanksgiving was not stressful. It was a normal Thanksgiving. It was a wonderful time at my brother's house. , it was just the fact that I had to jump on a plane two days later and go to Ireland for 10 days, which. is great and it was wonderful. , but it was a work trip, so it wasn't like relaxing.

So I was out late, I was up early, I didn't feel good. I started to get sick by the end, you know, like it was just a, a, a long, 10 days to be away.

but it was a really good time.

One of the guys I work with Game [00:02:00] did, did a tour of a little bit of Northern Ireland and showed me some Game of Thrones places, which is a wonderful, it was beautiful. It was really great. , but yeah, it was, uh, I got home and was just, I think I slept for like two days.

Jeremy: How was it? I know at at work functions, typically there's a lot of sort of after work gatherings, things like that. How did that go?

Zach: It was fine for me. I mean, we, if nobody knows, I don't drink. Very rarely do I drink. , I actually did get a little buzz while I was in Ireland

Jeremy: Must have been the Guinness, right? It had to be the Guinness

Zach: no, it wasn't, it was by accident actually. Um, but I went out. A few nights with people and we had a Christmas party and it was, it was some late nights and they have Guness zero on tap there, so I just drank that.

But it was, uh, it was interest. It's interesting going out with a bunch of people when you're sober.

Jeremy: I had the same experience when, when I went to Vegas earlier in the year, I spent five days in Las Vegas as the sober guy. And if [00:03:00] you've ever been the sober guy at the party, when the party lasts five days, that gets a little rough.

Zach: Mm-hmm. . Well, that's when you just leave early. But, um, but the, the, the one thing that was funny was I went to a gift shop to like get a whole bunch of stuff for my daughter. and I got her, , so Bailey's is Irish, right? I got her these like hot chocolate bombs and I like looked at the box and I was like, okay, it's not real Bailey's in there, it's just Bailey's flavored.

And then I looked over and saw Bailey's chocolate bar and I was like, well that's coming back to the hotel with me tonight. So I grabbed that and I wolfed the whole thing down and I was like just sitting on my bed and was like, I feel funny. Why do I feel funny? And I picked up the box and it was a chocolate bar with real Baileys in it.

And I was like, this has such a small amount of Baileys in it. And like I caught a tiny little buzz and I was like, holy shit, I'm such a cheap date,

Jeremy: Yeah, man. What, what did, how times have changed?

I quickly wanna mention our sponsor Athletic [00:04:00] Greens. If you wanna empty that overflowing cabinet full of vitamins and replace them with one great tasting drink, then order Athletic Greens now. So you can not only give your body what it needs to thrive, but we'll give you a free year supply of immune supporting vitamin D and five free travel packs with your first purchase. The link to try it out is in the show notes for this

All right, well, there's still holidays ahead, which as we alluded to, comes with a little bit of stress. So we like to talk about solutions here, right? We're not just here to, to complain about how difficult things can be. We wanna offer solutions to get through those challenges.

And one of them, and this is one that I battle with, and it's not just holidays, it's birthdays, Valentine's Day, whatever is expectations. When I give a gift, I want it to be something meaningful, like I want, I like, it's like I attach all this meaning to it that just like it's got. Be huge, right?

Like just some over the top thing. And so no matter what I wanna do, always feels like it's not enough. And then I get paralyzed and I end up not doing it cuz nothing seems good enough. So I think [00:05:00] if anything, that's rule number one is just manage your expectations. Just anything's better than nothing.

Be thoughtful, but just lower the bar if, if you're like me in that way and, and like, everything's gotta be amazing. Just try to chill the fuck out a little.

Zach: I could have used that like three weeks ago. You know,

Jeremy: I'm here. I'm always here to help. Well, after the fact.

Zach: as, I'm trying to pick the perfect thing for, for people , oh God, like, just well enough intentions. Most people will just go buy what they want. So like, they're just, you know, it just has to be a thoughtful gift.

It doesn't have to be like the perfect.

Jeremy: Mm-hmm. . Step number two here is making sure you take breaks and, you know, make time for yourself. What do you do to, to sort of decompress from all of this when you're in between the mall and, and grandma's house and all the things, how do you, uh, how do you take care of yourself during these, these times?

Zach: I think it is one of my favorite things in the world now is just sleeping, right? Like I have no, I have zero issues with like whatever it is I'm doing, [00:06:00] it'll be there in the morning, go to bed when you're tired.

Jeremy: Yeah.

Zach: Like, and I'm not kidding, like I, 7 38 o'clock rolls around for me now and I'm just like, eh, we're done. What? I don't care what it was we're doing, we're done.

Jeremy: So somehow, even though you still work for a living, you're fully a retired person going to bed by eight o'clock at night,

Zach: True, but again, I get up at four 30 so that I'm still awake just as long as most other people.

Jeremy: true. It's true. All right, well the number three here on our list is, uh, it's just not over committing, right? How many parties can you possibly attend? How many homes can you visit? How many friends and family can you? We have this tendency, again, like I do anyways, it's, it's not only does it, does the gift have to be perfect, but I've gotta say yes to everybody.

I've gotta be a people pleaser, right? I gotta show up and make sure that everybody knows I love them and that I care about them, even if it kills me getting there. And I've been in the car for nine hours to make it happen. , that is something that I, that I wrestle with. And so that's something I'm trying to commit to this year is that, you know, I'm just setting those boundaries.

Like [00:07:00] what, what can I realistically handle? What can I manage? What can actually fit into my schedule so that I do have time to take care of myself, to sleep when I need to, to just have that time to decompress? Cuz the social interaction for me, any one of them is massively draining and I need time to recover.

So , that's kind of a two-step thing for me, where it's like I've gotta say no to some things and I've gotta make time to just have some quiet and to be.

Zach: Yeah. I use this at work a lot. It's, you know, choose the hill you wanna die on, or, you know, like pick your battles appropriately. Like, you certainly don't have to say yes to everything. And if something's gonna drain you, if it doesn't have like a huge amount of reward or it won't disappoint somebody greatly, 

, you just don't have to do all of it. You can, you can skip in.

Jeremy: Absolutely. Uh, and one you're struggling with staying healthy, right. Which in the last few years that if there's anything we've learned is that it's tough to stay healthy during this time. Everybody's got a little something. Uh, there, there's just so many, there's just so many gatherings and, uh, ways to get sick.

We're all, I think, you know, hopefully Covid for the most [00:08:00] part is behind us, but there's plenty of other things you can still catch. , but just doing what you can, like, don't, don't completely abandon your routine. Like you said, get enough sleep, go to the gym. Like get in, get in the movement. , everyone talks about this being like the eating season, but let's be realistic.

There's like three days, right? One of them already passed, then there's Christmas, then there's New Years'. So there's no reason to go, well, it's the holidays. I'm just gonna eat garbage all day, every day until February.

Zach: Uh, yeah. No, I actually ran myself down so bad that I, I lost my voice, got sick, and was very worried that I was gonna have to go through customs with no voice,

Jeremy: Mm.

Zach: and I ended up getting my voice back just in time for that.

Jeremy: And then, you know, just sort of on the same track. It, it's funny, as we're talking about this, it's occurring to me that I think January is my six years sober without, without alcohol including chocolates. ,

Zach: What?

Jeremy: I think it's six years in January. Maybe I'm doing the math wrong,

Zach: I don't count the chocolate, by the way, cuz that was an

Jeremy: I [00:09:00] know I'm just giving you shit. But I will say that is, that is another temptation. Right? Another, another thing that we tend to do is we over-indulge in that and there's just, how many stories do we see every year of the car that crashed? A friend of mine was just in a crash involving A D U I driver and, uh, a friend of mine was the victim for the second time in her, in her short life.

She's okay. She's hurt, but you know, she survived it. , so I, I just, I want to just remind people, like, just the holidays are not an excuse to throw everything out the window, including your own health, your life, all of the things over booze. Like, you gotta keep that under control during this time of the year and any time of the year, if I'm being.

Zach: Yeah. I mean, right. This, just reframe your thinking. , these are the months where you make the summer body right.

Jeremy: That's a good point, right? Because everyone wants to wait until what June and then suddenly fly into the gym.

Zach: Like, oh, it's warm. Uh oh. I'm not taking my shirt off. No, no, no, no. [00:10:00] Nobody needs to see

Jeremy: I have no idea what you're talking about. Uh, And then finally, number five on our list of sort of ways to manage the stress during the holidays is just again, seeking support. When you're overwhelmed, turning to somebody, a friend, a loved one therapist, whoever, whoever you go to in times of trouble, when it's too much, it's okay to go to them.

It's okay to seek that help and, and get the support you need to manage the stress as it tends to accumulate this time of.

Zach: I don't know, man. , My stress is so low right now. Oh wait. I'm just putting it all into the back of my mind and not paying attention to it and procrastinating everything.

Jeremy: exactly. Uh, I do, I mean, since we're talking about the holidays, just quickly, I know, uh, I'm, I've never been a big New Year's resolution guy. I know you sort of sometimes use it as a place to start things over. Do you have a resolution for 2023?

Zach: Mm, no, I don't. I don't know, just doing the show [00:11:00] and we, we talk about it all the time. Like I really just don't, I don't wait for Monday anymore. I just do it like whatever the thing is. and you know, I live very much by the 80 20 rule, so as long as I'm good most of the year, like I'll go a little crazier during this time.

So it'll reset after new year's, that's for sure. And I'll have a couple things I shouldn't. , but for the most part, like I don't have anything that's gonna start on January 1st. You know, I do have a couple of goals for like the next 12 months of my life, but again, I don't wanna wait till January 1st. I don't wanna wait until Monday.

I've been working on some of those goals already. So again, if, if a New Year's resolution helps you make a change in your life, fantastic. But if on January 3rd you're like, oh, I guess I need to wait 360 something days in order to do this thing, I just thought of, no, no, no, no. That, that don't, don't do [00:12:00] it that way.

Jeremy: Nope. Do it today. That's the best time to start. Yesterday was, was really the best time, but today's the second best time.

Zach: Yep. And tomorrow never comes. So just do it today.

Jeremy: That's right. 

Zach: Jeremy, you and I talk all the time, so before you even say it, I, I know what your coping mechanisms are, so I don't wanna, I don't wanna know from you, but I would love to hear from everyone listening, what are your coping mechanisms? Like, what do you turn to during the holidays when the stress starts to build up?

We would love to hear from you in our Facebook group, the Fit Mess community. Uh, you're gonna find like-minded people there. Asking questions and talking about great things, but I wanna hear your coping me mechanisms in the holidays.

Jeremy: You can post those in the Facebook group, and the link to that is in the show notes for this episode, which are That is also where we will be back next week with a brand new episode. Thanks for listening

Zach: See everyone