by Cynthia Ackrill, MD, FAIS

Date of photo: October 6, 2017. Temperature outside: 75F.

Holiday stress is ALREADY upon us! How?! The leaves are still green. Halloween décor is still full price. And I am wearing shorts as I wandered into Home Depot to this scene. Oy! Right?!

I know retail is hurting. Of course, they are trying to generate excitement and false urgency. But this “rush the season” backdrop to our already-overfull lives, insidiously “rushes the stress” for too many people. In a 2015 Healthline survey, 62% of respondents felt holiday stress!

And it then occurred to me that right now is the perfect time to do something about holiday stress. GET PROACTIVE this year. No, I don’t mean start a shopping marathon tonight. But instead of feeling a sense of dread that the overwhelm ship has sailed, take time to make some course adjustments this year.


A little strategic thinking in October can give you the resilience to end December with more energy, joy, and health. The bonus: this will also boost your productivity.

Schedule an actual meeting with yourself, then your team and family. Get really clear about the challenges and the types of holiday stress that lie ahead. Next, brainstorm specific ways you can save energy and renew energy.

Successful stress management is about energy management. Yes, that goes for holiday stress as well! No matter how you slice it, the holidays demand more of your energy. So creating small, realistic ways to recharge your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual energy will keep the holidays from draining you dry. Your brain, your body, your friends, family and co-workers will all benefit!

Taking this step now can give you (and your team and family) the deep satisfaction of knowing that while you can’t control everything (darn it! ;)), you can make a significant difference in your experience.

What could you gain if you tweaked your energy plan for the next 2 months?

Click here for a template for creating your strategies to end the year smiling!