Stress Less This Holiday Season

A personal zen garden with a sprig of pine and a pine cone on it.

There’s no nice way to say it—life can be stressful. This is especially true during the holidays.

While most of us look forward to celebrating with friends and family, the festivities can compound our stress. Here are some helpful ways to get back to feeling merry and bright.

Stress-Busting Basics

During this busy time of year, it’s easy to rely on junk-food snacks to keep you going, which will make you feel worse. Instead choose healthy, stress-busting foods like avocado, blueberries, dark chocolate, and pistachios.

Making time to exercise regularly, even with a hectic schedule, is a great way to reduce stress. Find something physical you like to do, and work it into your routine. Exercise works best for stress relief when done regularly.

Nourishing Nutrients

Nutritional deficiencies can make stress symptoms worse. If your diet has been less than ideal, supplements can help.

Vitamin A has antioxidant properties that may help control feelings of stress. B-complex vitamins boost nervous system health. Vitamin C helps reduce feelings of anxiety caused by oxidative damage. Vitamin D deficiency can make it harder for your body to absorb other vitamins, and intensify feelings of stress.

Mineral Magic

Magnesium deficiency can make it harder for the body to respond to stress. In turn, stress tends to deplete magnesium resources, creating a feedback loop of compounding stress. Most Americans don’t get enough of this mineral through their diets, so consider a magnesium supplement.

Relaxing Herbs

Stress can make it hard to sleep. If you’re suffering from stress-related insomnia, consider valerian root. Take a time-out with a cup of chamomile tea to reduce anxiety, kava tea to help you relax, or tulsi tea to balance cortisol levels and relieve stress.

Click to See Our Sources

“8 effective herbal supplements for anxiety” by Chloe Brotheridge,, 6/16/18

“Coping strategies,” Anxiety and Depression Association of America,

“Health benefits & side effects of tulsi tea” by John Staughton,, 5/15/18 

“Magnesium,” National Institutes of Health, https://ods.od.nih


Kelli Ann Wilson

Associate Editor

Kelli Ann Wilson is Associate Editor at Taste for Life magazine. In her free time she enjoys reading, writing, photography, gardening, and spending time with her husband and two kids.