They say it’s the most wonderful time of the year, but Christmas stress can keep that from being true. To put it into perspective, consider the suicide spike around the holidays.

Oftentimes, the amplification of happiness and giving can also amplify the unhappiness and feelings of loneliness in those not experiencing life the same way.

In the following article, we’re going to teach you some fun ways you can avoid succumbing to Christmas stress. Let’s begin!

What Causes Christmas Depression?

Christmas stress or depression is caused by a number of factors. Some are within your control. Others aren’t.

All should be taken seriously. Let’s look at the biggies.

Family

Whether within or outside of their control, family members can fuel a lot of the stress we feel during the holidays. It may be as a result of personality clashes, diagnosed medical conditions that run in the family, or simply social awkwardness.

Death or Divorce

Divorce rates tend to spike at the first of each year. This is believed to be due to families on the brink of division that just want to make it through the holidays before taking that final step. Imagine the stress that places on the holiday itself!

Similar to divorce, deaths can produce a great deal of stress for years to come, both on the actual date of the death if it’s around the holidays or later on when families begin to experience their first Christmas without a loved one.

Finances

It’s hard to have a good holiday when all you’re doing is worrying about money. Unfortunately, Christmas shopping does nothing to alleviate that worry.

Children

It’s also hard to have great holidays when you’re stressed about kids. And they can put a lot of stressors on our lives, from worrying about what to get them to behavioral issues to having to find childcare when they’re out of school for the break and you still have to work every day.

Moving or Travelling

Each trip brings with it the need for packing, planning, and road time. There’s also the expectation placed on you by other family members.

5 Fun Ways to Manage Emotional Stress During Christmas

All of this is enough to make a person dread the holidays. Luckily, there are a few fun things you can do to fight back.

1. Get Some Exercise

Exercise contributes greatly to the brain’s release of endorphins. When that occurs, we feel better physically and mentally. So find time to break away from Christmas stressors and force your body to work up a sweat.

2. Go to a Movie

For over 100 years, movies and escapism have been almost synonymous with one another. Getting lost in another world, engrossed in the story and characters, all over a bucket of buttery popcorn and flavorful soda is a massive destresser.

That’s probably why Hollywood schedules so many blockbusters and awards contenders during this time of year. So the next time you feel stressed, buy your tickets!

3. Hang Out with Friends

Your friends are the family you choose. Ask them out for coffee, dinner, or fun and active activities like an Escape Room. You’ll be glad you did!

4. Lounging Around the House

Want to really de-stress? Stay home! Most of us have turned our homes or apartments into havens for streaming movies and television, reading books, and, during the holidays, drinking lots of hot cocoa!

5. Intimacy

This could be physical intimacy, but it doesn’t have to be. Simply connecting with your partner on a deeper level — talking, cooking a meal together, etc. — can do the trick!

Overcoming Christmas Stress Is Easier Than You Think

Christmas stress may seem like it’s here to stay. But you can control it if you a) know the stressors when they appear, and b) employ strategies for dealing with them.

Check out the rest of our website for more Christmas content, and have a great holiday season!