Healthy Tips for Managing Stress During the Holidays    

Stressed woman Christmas
Photo by Elitsa Deykova/

’Tis the season to be jolly! It is that time of year again, and while the holidays can be a wonderful and joyous occasion for families across the globe, it is also a time of year that can bring certain unpleasantries, including the stress that often accompanies family gatherings and the rush to get all of the preparations done for holiday meals or gifts under the tree. For 2020, the holidays present new kinds of challenges in what has been one of the most difficult years of our lifetimes. Amidst a global pandemic, there have been tragic deaths and economic chaos all over the world. One of our graduates offered to help me put this list together of suggestions and tips to help manage stress and stay healthy over the holidays:

Many people, whether they are a recovering addict or not, struggle with some degree of stress during the holidays. While the holidays are meant to be celebrated and filled with a sense of connection and fun, there can also be stress involved with family issues, money to spend on gifts and entertaining guests, accommodations, time management and social anxiety. For some, even traveling can be stressful. For the recovering addict, stress related to the holidays can be overwhelming. This is an important time to boost your self-care and focus on stress management to safeguard your recovery.

Tips for Self-care and Stress Management:

Minimize your To-Do List

With the holidays just around the corner, the list of things you have to do could be overwhelming. Don’t stress yourself out if you can’t get every single thing done on your to-do list. It’s okay to rearrange and prioritize your list and even discard some items on your list which may not be urgent or necessary.

Take a Break From The News & Social Media

During this time what with everything going on in the world, it’s always good to take a break from watching or reading the news and going on social media. Abstaining altogether for a short period of time, or just simply cutting back your screen time in half or less can do great things for your stress levels. We don’t always realize how much the news can stress us out until we manage our intake of it.

Take a Self Care Day

It’s important to make sure you have some downtime in order to decompress midst all of the holiday arrangements you’ve got going on. Don’t feel bad to take a self-care day for yourself and do something you enjoy for the sake of relaxation. This will help you to rejuvenate your energy when you return to being productive.

Get Outside

Getting outside and going for a walk or bicycle ride helps to get your attention outside and off of what is causing you stress. It’s a good way to be proactive and release endorphins at the same time. Going to a spot that you enjoy, such as the beach or a park, could be a great way to get some peace of mind and compose yourself. Surrounding yourself in nature is great for your mental and physical health.

These tips are a healthy way to cope with any stress you may be dealing with and are proactive ways to level up your self-care during a time that can be stress-inducing for everyone.

Danielle P.-Narconon Suncoast Graduate    



Justin has been working in the field of addiction and recovery for over 1 year. Justin earned his Bachelors's Degree in Finance from Florida State University. Having been an addict himself, he brings real-world experience to the table when helping addicts and their families, while also offering a first-person perspective to the current drug crisis. Justin is passionate about educating the public about what’s currently going on in our society, and thankfully, offers practical solutions.