De-stressing Over the Holidays

As the holiday season is in full swing, it is important to keep in mind that the festivities, while joyous and momentous for some, are not always blissful for everyone. A recent APA sanctioned study led on behalf of The Harris Poll found that 49% of U.S. adults are “moderately stressed” from November to January and 41% of adults commented that their stress increases those same months.

The cause of these stressors range in priorities. The highest labeled stressor that was identified by study participants was money. This included spending too much financially or not having not enough money to spend. The stressors that followed close behind included finding the right gifts, missing family/loved ones, and having too much to do. Moreover, the holidays can be stressful for underrepresented cultures. People who do not celebrate traditional Christian holidays also feel stressed but for different reasons. Those who do not fit in to the celebration of Christian holidays find themselves stressed because holiday celebrations do not reflect their culture or are afraid of being discriminated against.

For CASAs, and those working in the child welfare system, it is important to keep these holiday stressors in mind—for the children on the cases, for the professionals working the case, and for the CASA. Consider the impact of holiday stressors and how to cope with the stressors in a healthy manner. For example, in the APA study, 38% said they manage their expectations, 35% remind themselves the season will pass, and 16% volunteer to help others. Having contributed to the latter, CASAs are already on their way to approaching holiday stressors in a healthy manner!

Fortunately, over half the participants concluded that despite the stress, the holidays are worth it overall and bring a sense of togetherness. So, remember to dedicate some time to yourself, replenish your energy, and remind yourself to take a deep breath and lean into what you cherish this holiday season with the help of some beneficent coping strategies, and know that we appreciate you!

*If you would like to learn more about the connection between American’s stress and the holidays visit the APA’s press release: Even a joyous holiday season can cause stress for most Americans (