Holiday season is often stressful for many reasons.  People who have recently become single either through a relationship that ended, a divorce or a death, find the holiday season especially difficult.  We all think of holidays as times of gatherings.  Family and friends gather for dinners or parties, we’re accustomed to receiving and giving gifts.  Being recently single or alone can be daunting.

Holidays are sometimes difficult even when relationships and family issues are stable.  Many people pressure themselves into feeling that holidays must be perfect in one way or another, they spend too much money, they expend too much time preparing or worst of all, they worry too much.

Here are some tips on how to reduce stress and survive the holiday season.*

  • Do some special things for yourself – Yes, its wonderful doing special things for others especially at holiday times.  But, watch that you don’t ignore basic care of yourself.  Be sure you continue to do all the usual things you do to take care of yourself plus give yourself some extra treats like – a short nap during a busy day, a walk in a park (or around the block), a hot cup of tea, read a book, listen to music.
  • Volunteering – Serving at a local soup kitchen or shelter, give a tree or adopt-a-family program.  Helping people less fortunate helps put one’s life and woes in perspective.
  • Your expectations of the holidays – Think of your expectations and whether they are too high.  Make your own traditions that fit your lifestyle today.
  • Be alert to your budget – Keep your holiday expense realistic.  Remember the bills will be arriving in January.
  • Seek support – Talk with your  family and close friends about your stress and seek their support.
  • If your stressful feelings are too overwhelming don’t hesitate about seeking professional help such as a psychologist who can help you to reduce your stress.

* The source of these tips with some revisions is: Making the Most of the Holiday Season, American Psychological Association,  2012.

By Elaine Rodino


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About erodino

Elaine Rodino, PhD., is CEO of Senior Premier Dating LLC, is a licensed psychologist in private practice. She is a fellow of the American Psychological Association (APA), Pennsylvania Psychological Association and the Los Angeles Society of Clinical Psychologists. Dr. Rodino is a past president of the APA Divisions of Independent Practice, The Society for Media Psychology and Technology, Central Pennsylvania Psychological Association, Los Angeles County Psychological Association (LACPA), the Foundation of LACPA, and recipient of the Distinguished Lifetime Contribution to Media Psychology Award, and the Distinguished Service Award to LACPA. She has appeared on T.V. and radio and contributes to magazines, newspapers and online health sites on issues regarding Couples, Relationships, Sandwich Generation, Holiday Blues, and other popular topics.

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