Managing stress during the holiday season

Holiday Shopping Cheap Gifts
In this photo taken Saturday, Nov. 28, 2015, Janae Melvin shops for gifts at Old Navy in Kansas City, Kan. Melvin is cutting back on Christmas spending this year in part because she and her husband are putting money aside for a home and a big family vacation next year. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The holidays can be a fun but stressful time.

“You feel this added pressure to try and tell everybody how much you appreciate them and get them gifts,” said Abigail Fajardo.

Of course, getting gifts could mean dealing with crowds at the store.

“I don’t like being there just because there’s so many people and so much stuff to get, and I don’t know, it’s crazy,” Fajardo said.

On top of all that, it never feels like there’s enough time to get it all done.

UNM Employee Health Promotion is offering tips on managing that holiday stress.

“For the gift-giving, I think online shopping is a really good idea,” said Health Educator Vanessa Roybal.

Or, she said, go to the store with a plan.

“Santa has to make a list, so why do you think you’re any different?” Roybal said.

She also suggests setting a budget and maybe making thoughtful gifts instead of buying them.

Most importantly, she said, take care of yourself.

“What you can do to reduce that stress is get out there and exercise, make sure you keep moving,” Roybal said.

“Try to eat as healthy as you can despite all the cake, cookies, candy, turkey and pie and beer,” said Kirt Nakagawa.

“Take a deep breath and enjoy yourselves and relax,” David Stuart said. “It’ll make everything better for everybody.”

“It can get stressful, but it’s worth it,” Fajardo said.

Below are more stress-management suggestions provided by UNM Employee Health Promotion:


-Make a list of everyone you need to buy a gift for.
-Look for gifts you can give to multiple people or shop at stores where you can buy gifts for many on your list.
-Plan a few back-up gifts or generic gifts.
-Focus on the point of gift-giving.
-Don’t enjoy shopping? Plan shopping for single day event if possible or internet shop.
-Ask people what they want instead of scouring the earth to find the perfect gift.
-Shop early, when there is more of a selection.

Holiday Expenses

-Set a budget and stick to it.
-Check your emotions at the store door.
-Think of alternative ways to give gifts. Set up a gift exchange, homemade gifts, or food items.
-Choose inexpensive ways of entertaining and enjoying. An example of this is having a potluck party.
-Look for extra ways to stash cash throughout the year.
-Consolidate or eliminate gifts.

Lack of Time

-Complete your gift shopping early.
-Prioritize your invitations or party obligations.
-Delegate, Delegate, Delegate.
-Buy prepared foods, instead of cooking everything.
-Cook and freeze foods ahead of time
-Avoid time crunches by making plans to visit some friends and family after the holidays.
-Stop to enjoy the fruits of your labor. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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