Managing holiday stress

The saying goes, "it's the most wonderful time of the year," but that isn't the case for everyone around the holidays. For some, stress and anxiety may be crowding their spirits and these emotions could surface because of the lack of routine during the holidays.

Sanford Health Psychologist, Dr. Jon Ulven says, "we're creatures of habit and so anything that's out of that norm is stressful. Even if it's something that we might look forward to, something that can be enjoyable. But for a lot of folks this holiday time there are many stressors."

With finances being high on the list.

"I think folks who fare better are the ones who are planful, so they set a budget and I think it can be really helpful to talk with someone about your plans for your budget so you have an accountability person to go with that," says Dr. Ulven.

And it's not really the holiday season without those parties. However, it's ok to step back and say that tough word... "no."

"It's overwhelming the amount of time you're spending with people. I think even in those moments just go take a 15 minute walk. Just get some time away so that you get a chance to settle and be ready to go back in. You might just decide, 'I'm not going to do that holiday party. I'm not going to do that function,' or you can set a time limit," says Dr. Ulven.

Another point Dr. Ulven makes is that many people tend to over indulge during this time of year. This can make people feel guilty, which in return adds stress.

His advice, try your best to keep some healthy habits during this time, "if you're going to go to a party, have a healthy snack before you go. If you have been working out, you might have to take that back a little bit. You might not be able to do you normal routine, but work some type of activity in."

Dr. Ulven says prioritize the people you really want to spend time with. They can lift your spirits and help you feel more cheerful during the holidays.