The holiday season is the most joyful time of the year, but it can be a major stressor too. According to a recent survey conducted by MedStar Health, 74% of Americans said Christmas is stressful – and 55% said it’s the most stressful holiday of the year.
We have additional data and tips for a less stressful Christmas below based on a survey of 1,143 adults 18+ in the DC/Baltimore area.
74% reported feeling stressful about Christmas
Only 26% said the holiday is not stressful at all. The causes of stress:
  • Money concerns: 50%
  • Preparations/cleaning: 30%
  • Spending time with family: 22%
  • Cooking: 18%
  • Traveling: 18%
  • Hosting friends/family: 15%
  • I don’t feel stressed over Christmas: 19%
Money is the top stressor for the Christmas holidays this year
62% say they feel “more financially squeezed this season than usual”.
51% say they feel stressed about giving gifts.
MedStar Health shares the below tips to help manage Christmas stress:
Be realistic about your budget
Try to resist pressures to spend more than you can comfortably. Small gifts that are thoughtful, hand-made items, and the gift of time together don’t have to cost much and can be very meaningful.
Give yourself permission to take care of yourself and scale back expectations. It’s hard to enjoy the holidays if you feel constant pressure to make everything perfect.
Incorporate stress busting activities into your holiday plans
Exercise is a great way to get those endorphins flowing. Warm up your body and reduce stress with a family hike.
Don’t overcommit
It is easy to say “yes” to too many activities, leaving you feeling burned out and stressed about the holiday season. Try to alternate activity-full days with those of scheduled relaxation. Spending time with loved ones at home, or going for a solo walk, can do wonders for your mood!
Take a social media break
Your mental health matters! Watching how others spend their holiday can be overwhelming, and you might miss out on your own festive experience. Unplugging during the holidays helps you unwind and reconnect with your loved ones face to face.
*If you are struggling with low mood or lack of energy on a regular basis, talk to your healthcare provider.
What do people look forward to most during Christmas holidays?
  • Seeing family and friends: 67%
  • Giving/receiving gifts: 65%
  • Eating a traditional meal: 54%
  • Time off from work or school: 31%
  • Cooking: 24%
  • Not having to cook: 10%
Additional survey data:
  • 39% reported feeling stressed due to family and social pressures.
  • 31% experience feelings of sadness, loneliness or loss.
  • 27% of respondents reported feeling stressed due to unreasonable expectations of the holiday season

Information provided by: MedStar Health.