12 Ways to Deal With Holiday Anxiety and Enjoy More Over 50

12 Ways to Deal With Holiday Anxiety and Enjoy More Over 50

Picture of Schellea


How to deal with holiday anxiety

As a woman in her golden years, I have learned that holidays can be magical but stressful. The festive season often brings stress from socializing, spending, decorating, and traveling.

It’s a universal truth that the holidays, as joyous as they are, can also trigger a not-so-merry wave of anxiety. From strained relationships to the weight of grief and the ticking clock, we find ourselves caught in the delicate dance of festive cheer and underlying tension. For some reason, expectations seem to rise like the winter sun this time of year.

Some of us overdo everything. Many of us have used this to drown out anxiety by turning up our holiday activities. As we get busier, we overindulge and spend like crazy. 

Having said that, I have been there and done that, and I am choosing a different tune this year. Thus, I’d like to share my 10 ways to deal with holiday anxiety and reclaim the joy that this season truly deserves!

Firstly, do you have holiday anxiety? You need to acknowledge it! 

Acknowledging holiday anxiety is key to dealing with it. It’s easy to brush off your feelings as just being ‘stressed out’ or ‘busy’, but doing so might keep you from getting the help and support you need. Ignoring or pushing aside your anxiety can make it worse, leading to stronger feelings of worry, restlessness, or irritability.

Just acknowledging your holiday anxiety can help you identify its causes. Maybe it’s the pressure of buying gifts or the social demands of going to lots of gatherings. Once you know what causes your anxiety, you can take steps to manage these triggers and lessen their impact.

Remember, it’s completely okay to feel anxious. The important thing is not letting it take over your holiday experience. Recognition is the first and most important step to managing it and enjoying your holidays.

How to Deal with Holiday Anxiety This Festive Season

The holidays are meant to be celebrated, not endured. Here are my top tips to deal with holiday anxiety and enjoy the beautiful season with your family and friends.

1. Start with a comfortable environment

How to deal with holiday anxiety

One way to deal with holiday anxiety is by creating a comfortable and relaxing environment. This might involve decorating your home in a way that brings you joy or organizing your space to reduce clutter and chaos. 

A calming environment can help to soothe your anxiety and make the holidays feel less overwhelming.

In addition to this, consider creating a ‘safe space’ in your home where you can retreat when feeling anxious. This could be a cozy corner with a comfortable chair, some soothing music, and a good book. 

Having a place where you can relax and regroup can be incredibly beneficial for managing holiday anxiety.

2. Exercise and meditate regularly

Regular exercise and meditation can also help you deal with holiday anxiety. Exercise is a natural stress-reliever that can boost your mood and help you feel more resilient in the face of stress.

Whether it’s a brisk walk, a yoga class, or a session at the gym, finding a form of exercise that you enjoy can make a significant difference in your anxiety levels.

Meditation, on the other hand, can help to calm your mind and reduce feelings of anxiety. Even just a few minutes of meditation each day can help you feel more grounded and relaxed.

There are many workout videos here, so add them to your daily routine!

3. Eat well

The holidays can often be a time of indulgence, but maintaining healthy eating habits can help you deal with holiday anxiety.

Eating a balanced diet can help stabilize your mood and energy levels, making you better equipped to handle stress. Try to incorporate plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins into your meals.

That’s not to say that you can’t enjoy the festive treats that come with the holiday season. However, try to balance these with healthier choices to ensure that your body is getting the nutrients it needs.

Remember, the aim is not to restrict yourself but to nourish your body in a way that supports your mental health.

READ ALSO: 10 Surprising Foods That Will Boost Your Mood Over 50

4. Make good sleep a priority

Quality sleep is crucial to managing holiday anxiety. Lack of sleep can amplify feelings of stress and anxiety, making it even harder to navigate the holiday season.

Therefore, it’s important to prioritize good sleep hygiene. This could involve maintaining a regular sleep schedule, creating a relaxing bedtime routine, or making your sleep environment more comfortable.

If you’re struggling to sleep due to anxiety, don’t hesitate to seek help. Speak to a healthcare professional about your concerns, as they may be able to provide solutions or treatments to improve your sleep.

6. Reimagine your gift-giving approach

As we age, the holiday season can bring about a wave of joy and nostalgia, but it can also lead to a significant amount of stress, particularly when it comes to gift-giving. The pressure to find the perfect present for everyone on your list can be daunting and may trigger holiday anxiety.

However, why not rethink your gift-giving strategy and better manage holiday anxiety, especially if you are over 50?

First, simplify your list. It’s not necessary to buy gifts for everyone you know. Prioritize the people who matter most to you and focus on giving them something meaningful. Remember, it’s the thought that counts more than the value of the gift. 

Why not consider gifting experiences rather than material items? A study by Cornell University found that people derive more happiness from experiences than material possessions. So why not gift your loved ones a cooking class, a spa day or a trip to a vineyard? These experiences can create lasting memories, and you’re also less likely to stress over choosing the right color or size.

You can also give homemade gifts. Nothing says ‘I care’ like something made with love and care. You could bake some cookies, knit a scarf, or even create a personalized photo album. This approach not only reduces shopping stress but also adds a personal touch that store-bought items often lack.

5. Be honest about what you expect

Setting realistic expectations is key when it comes to dealing with holiday anxiety. It’s easy to get caught up in the idea of creating the ‘perfect’ holiday, but this can often lead to unnecessary stress and disappointment.

Instead, aim for a holiday that is enjoyable and meaningful to you, even if it doesn’t match the picture-perfect images you see in the media.

Remember, it’s okay if your holiday doesn’t go exactly as planned. There’s no such thing as a perfect holiday, and it’s the unexpected moments that often make the best memories.

Let go of unrealistic expectations to reduce holiday anxiety and enjoy the season for what it is—joy and connection.

7. Drink less alcohol

While alcohol might seem like a quick way to ease holiday anxiety, it can often make things worse in the long run.

Alcohol is a depressant, which means it can exacerbate feelings of anxiety and depression. Therefore, it’s a good idea to limit your alcohol consumption during the holiday season.

This doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a festive drink, but try to do so in moderation. If you’re feeling anxious, opt for non-alcoholic alternatives or find other ways to relax and unwind.

It’s also important to remember that it’s okay to say no to alcohol, regardless of any social pressure you might feel.

8. Keep in touch with your loved ones

Staying connected with loved ones can be a powerful way to deal with holiday anxiety. The holidays can often feel isolating, particularly if you’re dealing with anxiety.

However, reaching out to friends and family can help you feel supported and understood.

This might involve attending social gatherings or simply sending a message to let someone know you’re thinking of them. Alternatively, you might find comfort in sharing your feelings with a trusted friend or family member.

Remember, you don’t have to face your holiday anxiety alone; there are plenty of people who care about you and want to help.

9. Remember, less is more

The pressure to create the ‘perfect’ holiday experience can be overwhelming and lead to heightened feelings of holiday anxiety. But guess what? There’s a simple solution to this problem: do less. 

If you want to deal with holiday stress, you need to know that it is okay to not do everything. The holidays are meant for relaxation and enjoyment, not stress and overwork. So, allow yourself to take a break from some tasks.

Instead of making a five-course meal, order from your favorite restaurant or have guests bring dishes. Use a Secret Santa or gift exchange game instead of buying and wrapping gifts for everyone. 

Not every moment needs to be filled with activities and events. Allow yourself time to rest and rejuvenate. You don’t need to attend every holiday party or event you’re invited to. Politely declining some invitations can reduce stress and improve holiday anxiety.

10. Practice gratitude

Practicing gratitude can be a powerful way to deal with holiday anxiety. By focusing on the things you’re grateful for, you can shift your mindset towards positivity and reduce feelings of stress and worry.

This could involve keeping a gratitude journal or simply taking a few moments each day to reflect on what you’re thankful for.

Remember, gratitude is not about ignoring your struggles or pretending everything is perfect. Rather, it’s about acknowledging the good in your life, even in the midst of hardship.

Practice gratitude to improve your outlook and manage holiday anxiety.

11. Spend more time for self-care

Taking time for self-care is crucial to dealing with holiday anxiety. Self-care is about looking after your physical, mental, and emotional health and can involve anything from taking a relaxing bath to reading a good book.

During the busy holiday season, it’s important to make time for activities that relax and rejuvenate you.

Remember, self-care is not selfish; it’s necessary for your wellbeing. Self-care helps you handle stress and enjoy the holidays.

So don’t be afraid to put yourself first and take the time you need to recharge.

READ ALSO: 12 Easy Holiday Self-Care Tips For Women Over 50

12. Seek professional help if necessary

If your holiday anxiety is feeling overwhelming, it might be time to seek professional help. A mental health professional can provide you with strategies and treatments to manage your anxiety and can offer support and understanding during a difficult time.

There are many different types of help available, from therapy and counseling to medication. It’s important to find a treatment that works for you, so don’t hesitate to explore different options.

Remember, seeking help is not a sign of weakness but a brave and important step towards managing your holiday anxiety.

Closing Thoughts

Dealing with holiday anxiety can be challenging, particularly if you’re over 50. However, these tips can help you manage anxiety and enjoy the holidays. 

Whether it’s creating a comfortable environment, practicing regular exercise and meditation, or taking time for self-care, there are many ways to navigate the holidays with less stress and more joy.

Remember, it’s okay to feel anxious during the holidays, and it’s okay to seek help if you need it. You can have a meaningful and enjoyable holiday by acknowledging and managing your anxiety. 

After all, the most important thing is not to have a perfect holiday, but to have a holiday that brings you peace and happiness.

Happy Holidays!

♡ Love ♡,


About me

Schellea Fowler, the visionary founder of Fabulous50s, brings over three decades of small business leadership and expertise to her legacy. Not only has she excelled personally, but she has also become a mentor, generously sharing her wealth of experience with emerging entrepreneurs. After retiring at 50 in 2016, Schellea’s commitment to continuous growth led her to pursue additional qualifications. A qualified fitness instructor, she is presently continuing her master trainer program, specializing in exercise for older adults. Through Fabulous50s, Schellea remains devoted to her vision of empowering and inspiring women to embrace and celebrate their current stage of life. Her additional qualifications include: Neuro Athletics Coaching Certificate (NACC) from Neuro Athletics, Meditation Teacher Training from Yoga Coach, Fashion Styling from the Australian Style Institute, and Advanced Personal Colour Analysis from AOPI.
Above all, Schellea’s mission is simple yet profound: to support women in embracing the aging process with confidence and grace.

Over 50 & Fabulous? Subscribe for empowering content on health, beauty, and more!

Learn how to burn fat and build muscle fast with guided instruction.

If you find fabulous50s content useful and would like to support my work, you could always BuyMeATea (completely optional, only if you want to!). Your support will help me create more quality videos and content created just for you…Fabulous women over 50! With love and appreciation, thank you.

Take the 14 day weightloss challenge

Feeling stuck in a weight loss rut? You're not alone!

Metabolism can slow down after 50, but that doesn't mean you can't achieve your goals.

Here's the good news: Studies show women over 50 can lose 1-2 pounds per week safely and effectively with the right approach.

This Challenge is your chance to breakthrough that weight loss plateau, boost your metabolism and energy level and feel confident and beautiful in your own skin.

Don't wait! Spots are limited. Sign up today and see amazing results in just 14 days!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Lost Password

Lost your password? Please enter your username or email address. You will receive a link to create a new password via email.

Return To Login

Welcome to the Fabulous50s!

Get access to all our freebies & challenges by simply signing up for a free account or logging in here.