Chaos to Calm: Beat holiday stress with these 5 tips

A Little Exercise is Better Than None

The idea of investing 30+ minutes at the gym can be daunting piled on top of work, family, and holiday travel. Aim for just 15 minutes instead—but make it good. One shorter session of high-intensity interval training can be just as beneficial as a longer session at the gym. Squeeze it into your morning routine to keep you energized throughout the day.

Eat Mindfully

After Thanksgiving and Christmas and all the treats in between, it’s no surprise many of us feel a bit fluffy and bloated by the time it hits New Years. Practicing mindfulness when eating and drinking is a great place to start developing healthy eating habits. Allow yourself to enjoy your favorite foods, in moderation, without judgment or shame.

Sleep More

This is some of the best medicine around. Consistent quality sleep bolsters the immune system, enhances mood, leads to more energy, and helps manage stress to improve overall well-being. To get better sleep, avoid screens 1-2 hours before bed, avoid eating and consuming alcohol later in the evenings, and manage noise with a sound machine or earplugs.

Soothe Yourself 

While decorating, holiday cooking, and family time can be fun, for some it means irritability, anger, fatigue, and stress. Besides exercise, other techniques to manage these emotions are meditation, yoga, prayer, or listening to music. Identify something to safely manage your stressors and incorporate it into your daily routine. 

Honor Relationships

The holidays bring people together, but it can also be a painful reminder of what we’ve lost—family members, friends, even pets. Consider implementing a small ritual into your routine to honor who you are grieving. Doing this can help stave off feelings of depression, anxiety, and anger and can help maintain healthy support and camaraderie in your life.

Brisa Samudio is a licensed clinical social worker specializing in trauma and psychosocial impacts on health. With Caremore’s Memphis venture, she provides complex case management services as part of a multidisciplinary team. She also sees clients privately for individual, group, and family therapy. For more information about Brisa’s teamwork to support survivors of all kinds, visit or call 901.729.9767

Dr. Farhad Modarai is a board-certified family physician who is part of a collaborative and multidisciplinary team providing healthcare for a medically and socially complex patients at CareMore in Memphis. He lectures widely on social impacts on health, community-based medicine, and healthcare innovation.

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