Teen and Parent Wellbeing

National Stress-Free (Family) Holidays Month

By: Meghaa Ravichandran

With the advent of December, many of us are excited for the holidays as it is a time for commemorating family and being grateful for the love and joy we have around us. With all the family reunions and celebrations happening at the end of the year, it is not unusual for many of us to be stressed as we might have a lot on our plate. Decorating the house, shopping for presents, and traveling might present additional responsibilities we might not be ready for. Furthermore, we might be experiencing grief over the holidays as we mourn a loved one in the midst of all the celebrations. During these stressful times, it is important for us to take a quick breath and remember that it is okay if expectations are not met or if the to-do list is not completed by the end of the day. 

Image Credit: Unsplash

As December approaches, with it comes National Stress-Free (Family) Holiday Month. To keep the holiday celebrations as relaxing as possible, try to lighten the workload on yourself and following these quick tips: 

  • Stay hydrated
    • Get six to eight glasses of water in your day to stay hydrated. It’s easy to forget in all the holiday chaos, but drinking water helps prevent dehydration, allows for clearer thinking, and keeps your body cool in extreme heat or chilly temperatures. It can be helpful to keep daily reminders on your calendar or keep your water bottle near you as you navigate through your day. 
  • Practice mindfulness, patients, and forgiveness
    • Be kind to yourself! If you make a mistake in preparing for a big holiday event or in keeping up with a booked calendar, remember that it’s important that you enjoy yourself and that not everyone is perfect. Take a few minutes and watch short mindfulness videos on Youtube or free apps like UCLA mindful. Practice breathing and relaxing your muscles using the TIPPs method as well. 
  • Find time to exercise or do self-care
    • Exercising is one way to maintain your physical and mental health. You can try to get your heart rate up through a daily run, at-home cardio, or by hitting the gym! Practice your favorite sports for 30 minutes or go power-walking as you do your daily errands. Self-care is also important in recentering and appreciating ourselves. Take 10 minutes to do your favorite hobby and spend time outdoors when possible. Doing something we enjoy on a stressful day can help us find the motivation to continue. 

Image Credit: Unsplash

  • Spend time with loved ones
    • The holidays are a time meant to be spent with loved ones, so try to connect with them virtually or in-person! This could be your siblings, your friends, or anyone you think is family or is special to you. Spending time with people who love us can lessen the impact seasonal depression or loneliness may have during these winter holidays. 
  • Manage your time wisely
    • Keep realistic expectations of what you hope to accomplish in a day. The holidays are a marathon, not a sprint. Try to divide up your responsibilities across a week or a month, and start preparing for big holiday events a few weeks in advance. If you are short on time, prioritize what you want to finish first, so the most important tasks are done quickly. Try not to overcommit yourself and remember to take a breather. Keeping a calendar or planner (online or on paper) will be helpful so you don’t forget important dates!
  • Avoid crowds
    • If you’re someone who is introverted or is easily stressed, try to avoid crowds this holiday season. Remember to think virtually – shopping online or celebrating reunions online is a completely valid method of honoring the holidays! If you do have to stay in traffic or shop in crowded malls, try to keep the trips short and carve out some time for you to decompress. Noise-canceling headphones here may help too.
  • Get enough sleep before a big day
    • Get eight or more hours of sleep to stay rested on your big day! If you have to wake up early for preparations, try to go to bed earlier. To get into a relaxed mood before bed, read a good book under warm lighting, make yourself a cup of hot cocoa, or watch a favorite movie! 

Image Credit: Unsplash

Don’t let the holiday season sneak up on you, but if it does, always remember to put yourself and your mental health first before taking part in the celebrations! As we usher in the new year, reflect on some accomplishments that you’re proud of and make some new goals for improvement that you want to focus on. Even if this year contained any difficult times, remember that we are always changing as people and can create new moments of happiness to celebrate in the future. As we wrap up 2022, remember to always practice kindness for yourself in National Stress-Free Holidays Month!


December is National Stress-free Holiday Month | Compass Health.

December is National Stress-Free Family Holidays Month – Beech Acres 

National Stress-Free Family Holiday Month: How to Have an ‘ALMOST’ Stress-Free Holiday in 2020 

Stress Management

National Stress Awareness Month

By Soven Saste

April is National Stress Awareness Month, which has been observed since 1992. In today’s day and age, people are often stressed, so it is important to learn about stress and how to manage it.

What is stress? According to the American Institute of Stress, stress can be defined as a “physical, mental, or emotional strain or tension.” Stress is something we all experience at one point or another and is completely normal. Activities in daily life such as school, work, and family life can all cause some degree of stress. However, when you have too much stress, then it can start to become a problem. It can cause problems like being irritable, feeling overwhelmed, having depression, low energy, aching muscles, insomnia, nervousness, racing thoughts, changes in appetite, and much more.

 You cannot always control the things that make you stressed, but you can work on how you deal with tough situations and manage your long-term stress. When present in a difficult situation, put in a focused effort to remain calm, try and understand the situation, and take a step back from the environment if you have to. 

Managing Long-Term Stress

It is important to learn how to manage your long-term stress so that you can stay healthy and happy. Some great ways to manage stress include:


When you exercise, you release endorphins, (or feel good hormones) in your body that can combat stress. Going for a short walk, biking, or even swimming are all ways to clear your mind and to control stress. Additionally, a balanced diet can also help to lower your stress.

Partaking in a hobby or leisure activity

Doing something fun and engaging for even 20-30 minutes a day can get your mind off of your issues. You can do things like playing an instrument, knitting, reading, or cooking, among other creative activities.


Recently, many people have started to meditate and practice mindfulness as part of their self-care routines, and for good reason. At Taarika Foundation, we emphasize the practice of meditation and mindfulness for overall health and well-being. Meditating is doing things that essentially attempt to bring you in touch with reality and the present moment. 

There are many ways to meditate, including mindfulness meditation, religious meditation, meditating through exercises such as yoga, and more. You can explore these different options and see which one works best for you. 

Mindfulness is a form of meditation. Mindfulness is often given a false meaning or misunderstood by many people. According to the Oxford dictionary, mindfulness is “ a mental state achieved by concentrating on the present moment, while calmly accepting the feelings and thoughts that come to you, used as a technique to help you relax.” Mindfulness involves being fully aware of your thoughts and feelings but rather than shutting them out, you acknowledge them and the fact that you have them. 

Mindfulness can be applied to many different things. For example, you can be mindful while eating food. That would entail focusing on the food, how it tastes, how it smells, etc. By practicing mindfulness and meditation, you can greatly curb your stress.


Sharing your personal issues with someone trusted like a close friend or family member can be very helpful to manage stress. Oftentimes, talking to other people about your stress can help you gain clarity. If your stress load is very heavy, it would even make sense to talk to a professional like a therapist or a psychiatrist. While there is a lot of stigma that might linger around this, it is perfectly normal to talk to a therapist and in fact, getting help is a sign of great strength, courage and resilience. 

This April, put an effort towards making a habit out of self-caring activities like exercise, clean eating, and meditation to keep your stress in control. Remember that it is normal to find these practices challenging even if you might understand how beneficial they are. The important thing is to put your best foot forward and try your best. Try to make improvements that work well for your own circumstances and current habits to have a healthy and satisfying lifestyle. 

Stress Management

Stress Management