Helpful Tips for a Stress-Free Holiday Season

The holidays are supposed to be fun, but we all know they can be extremely stressful for many of us. In hopes of making the most out of the festive season, we chatted with clinical psychologist Dr. Judy Ho to get some tips on how to survive the holidays and take care of yourself.

Make an Effort to Connect

"It is important to make an effort to connect at least once a day with somebody that is meaningful in your life," Dr. Judy shares, explaining that in addition to an in-person connection, she feels this can also happen via text, email or a phone call. She also says that doing something for someone you care about -- shopping for a present for them or writing a letter -- can be a form of connecting as well. She says these types of actions will make you feel less isolated and alone.

Watch: The Doctors Throw a Holiday Party with Santa

Make Time for Your Own Self-Care Activities

Dr. Judy stresses the importance of self care. This does not have to occur daily but she suggests that you schedule these activities on your calendar. She says this could be a variety of things, like for example exercising or listening to music that makes you feel good. She feels that keeping track of the event in your calendar can help you track how much self-care you are giving yourself, which can help give you a better sense of accomplishment.

Be Aware of How Sunlight and Weather Can Affect Your Mood

Due to the days being shorter and the weather being gloomier than usual, Dr. Judy notes that a lack of sun can affect how we feel. She says that getting anywhere from 20 to 30 minutes of sunlight, or even indirect sunlight, in the morning can boost our moods. If sunlight is not an option, she suggests using a lightbox, which can also help lift your spirits. And she also recommends making sure you get proper and ample sleep (for sleep help, check out the ZPatch here) and to eat as healthy as possible.  

Watch: The Drs. Family Holiday Traditions

Indulging or Treating Yourself Can Mean More Than Food!

It's easy to be tempted to indulge during the holidays, but treating yourself does not always have to mean eating something. Instead, Dr. Judy suggests treating yourself to an activity like getting a massage, taking a half day off and visiting a museum, going to the movies or taking a day trip.