4 Tips for Managing Stress: During the Holidays

Stress is a constant in today’s society. Between work, family, and other obligations, it can be hard to manage all the different pressures that life brings.

When you experience stress, your body produces a hormone called cortisol. When cortisol is released, it can impact your sleep, weight, and overall well-being. However, there are some simple yet effective ways you can reduce your cortisol levels and help manage stress.

1. Take Deep Breaths

As simple as it sounds, deep breathing is a quick way to reduce your stress levels. It can be as easy as breathing in for four seconds, holding for four seconds, and then breathing out for six seconds. Taking the time to do this breathing technique five or six times can help lower stress levels.

2. Get Grounded

Another quick technique to use when you’re feeling overwhelmed is called grounding. This method utilizes all of your five senses. First find five different things to see, then four different things to touch, three different things to hear, two different things to smell, and one thing to taste. Doing this activity paired with deep breathing is more effective.  

3. Organize Your Day

Another way to help with stress is by simply taking a little time to organize your day and priorities. Having a plan of action by writing and visualizing your tasks on paper can help organize your thoughts. The more you’re able to plan your activities and list everything you need to do, the smoother your day will go.

4. Build in Self-Care

Additionally, it’s even more important to take care of yourself when you’re faced with feelings of stress. If you take the time to prioritize yourself, you’ll have more energy and a clear headspace to tackle all the needs of work or family. Take time to exercise, spend time doing something you enjoy, or talk to someone to help release stress in a healthy, positive way.


Stress is a part of life that can feel overwhelming and hard to control. However, if you just take these simple and manageable steps, you’ll begin to feel more in control of your emotions. If you find yourself getting overwhelmed, call or visit PRO Medical Counseling Center. Our licensed mental health professionals can help you address stress, as well as other issues. You don’t have to do this alone. We’re here to support you.

Written by Darla Telschow, MA, LMHCPRO Medical Counselor

Darla Telschow, MA, LMHC, believes that counseling should be a collaborative process between client and therapist. She works with clients to set goals and ensure they are achievable. She used Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to help clients identify how their thoughts, feelings and behaviors are connected, and enjoys working with all ages including children.

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