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How to de-stress during the holiday season – health unit offers 10 tips to keep calm

The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge Health Unit is giving their thoughts to keep cool this Christmas.

Staff members with the health unit are hoping to alleviate some of the stress attached to the holiday season by giving the public 10 tips to keep the stress of the holiday under control.

Marisa Curran, a public health nurse with HKPR, says “there are many demands put on people at this time of year, including holiday parties, gift buying, family get-togethers, overexcited children, extra meal planning, and financial concerns,” adding “all of these added pressures can lead to frayed nerves, short fuses, damaged relationships and depression which has an impact on people’s health.”

Curran suggests through the holidays it is important to show your feelings, which she explains means if you have recently lost someone or are unable to be with people close to you through the holiday. The HKPR says “it is okay to show and share your emotions.”

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The second tip to keep calm through the holiday is to reach out to others. If you are feeling alone or isolated, HKPR suggests going to some kind of community or social event to give you some companionship. It is also reccommended you volunteer as that helps others and can help you feel more connected.

Another tip to fight off the festive blues is to be realistic about the holiday. What that means is to accept the holiday traditions and family dynamics may change but you can adapt your traditions to change with the times.

To keep calm through the chores and activities attached to the holiday, HKPR suggests planning out specific days for shopping, baking, cleaning, decorating etc. Planning ahead should help you go through the season without scrambling to get something done.

Although it may cause some conflict, HKPR says it is okay to say no to things if it is going to result in your well-being taking a hit. HKPR suggests that you balance your holiday plans that you are not stressing out trying to get to everything.

Alternatively, the health unit says a good way to make sure the holiday is a nice one is to settle differences with family and friends so you can all enjoy the holiday together.

When you are shopping, HKPR suggest sticking to a budget, they say deciding how much you can afford before you shop can reduce stress and anxiety while shopping.

While you are planning out your holiday, the health unit says it is okay to take a break and spend time with your partner and or children.

HKPR explains that physical health can have an impact on your mental health. They suggest remaining active and getting a full nights rest to recharge through the hustle and bustle of the holiday.

The final tip from the health unit is to look for professional help if you feel sad, anxious, stressed or generally unable to cope.  The Canadian Mental Health Association ( provides a free, 24/7 professional crisis support line at 1-866-995-9933.


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