December 2013 > Managing Holiday Stress

Wellness Wise

Managing Holiday Stress

Holidays are typically a time for togetherness, celebration, and sometimes gift giving. But the guests, traveling, decorating, cooking, cleaning, and finances can make this cheerful season stressful.

Too much stress can cause physical symptoms including headaches, chest pain, and trouble sleeping, as well as emotional symptoms such as anxiety, restlessness, sadness, or irritability.

Below are some tips to help minimize and manage stress this holiday season:

  1. Examine your priorities and be realistic.
    • Think about the activities you really take pleasure in, and stick with those.
    • Don't overbook yourself with things you don't truly enjoy.
  2. Plan ahead and manage your time.
    • Consider baking ahead of time and freezing baked goods or other menu items.
    • Shopping online can be more convenient than visiting a busy mall.
    • If you leave everything until the last minute, you're more likely to feel overwhelmed. 
  3. Set a budget and stick to it. Think "presence" before "presents."
  4. Exercise. Stay with your routine or add in regular walks. Exercise is one of the best ways to reduce stress.

Remember that there is no perfect present, or perfect meal, or perfect decoration. Let the little things go and focus on what is truly important. At the end of the season, you will remember the company and the emotions, not the particulars or minor details.

For a little extra support, enroll in and complete the Stress Management workshop on the Living Well Health Platform.** Log into your account at and click on "Wellness Workshops" under the Wellness heading to enroll.

If you have any questions about the platform, please contact Provant at (888) 703-2296 or via email at

**The Living Well Health Platform is available to all UT SELECT Medical Plan members aged 18 and over - including Employees, Retirees, Dependents, Surviving Spouses and COBRA participants.

UT System's "Living Well: Make it a Priority" Worksite Health & Wellness program provides a wealth of resources dedicated to your better health. Find additional helpful information at: