8 ways to lessen your stress during the holidays

Key takeaways

  • The holiday season can be nerve-wracking, especially for already-stressed real estate agents.
  • Use multiple techniques to reduce stress during the holidays to make them more enjoyable.
  • Planning ahead can also ease holiday tension.
  • Self-care is even more crucial during the busy holiday season.

Even if you love your job as a real estate agent, you know it can be stressful. Showing houses and spending time with clients you like can be remarkably enjoyable. Still, constant deadlines, client availability challenges, high emotions and workflow pressure are all part of the business.

Combining your everyday year-round stress with the added burdens and excitement of the holiday season can ratchet up tension. That's why finding ways to manage the holidays is vital for your physical and mental well-being.

Did you know that nearly half of Americans (45%) worry about their mental health during the holiday season, according to a 2022 survey by therapy service BetterHelp? The prime concerns that may negatively impact respondents' mental well-being during the holidays include shopping, spending and cooking (31%), and family dynamics (28%).

The good news is that you are not alone if you feel especially stressed as an agent during the holidays. The better news is there are actions you can take to help you manage the added strain the holidays may add.

8 stress management techniques to try during the holidays

Stress can detract from your enjoyment of the holiday season, but more importantly, it can be detrimental to your physical and mental health. Try some of these techniques during the holidays to keep your stress in check:

  1. Maintain or start healthy habits. It’s easy to feel too busy to exercise and to be tempted by sweets and party treats during the holidays, but the Mayo Clinic recommends starting your day with a short workout, eating healthy snacks like fruits and vegetables to fill up before parties, and incorporating fun physical activities into family gatherings such as sledding or hiking.
  2. Step outside. Numerous studies show that sunlight and nature can provide stress relief, better concentration, improve mental energy and lower inflammation, according to the American Psychological Association (APA). A quick walk in some fresh brisk air can help.
  3. Prioritize joy. The holiday season has multiple new tasks to add to your schedule, like extra shopping, cooking, cleaning and socializing. The APA recommends prioritizing the activities that bring you joy or recharge your emotional batteries. Learn to say no to actions that drain your energy. Substitute store-bought treats instead of forcing yourself to bake for hours — unless, of course, you find rolling dough in a cozy kitchen comforting. The important thing is that you actively choose what to do and what to skip.
  4. Acknowledge your emotions. For many, the holidays remind them of loved ones they've lost and once-beloved traditions that are no longer possible. The Mayo Clinic suggests sharing with family and friends your feelings and memories. Perhaps you can revive a tradition or start a new one to honor someone’s memory.
  5. Take a break. Taking time off may seem counterintuitive when you're extra busy. But the Mayo Clinic says taking time to nap, exercise, read a book or watch a funny movie can relieve stress. Studies show that laughter relaxes the whole body for physical and mental release. A quick phone call with a good friend may be just the stress reliever you need.
  6. Pay attention to your money. Set a budget for the holiday season and stick to it to avoid financial worries. While there are naturally extra expenses during the holiday season, consider making homemade gifts, limiting the number of gifts you give and focusing on inexpensive ways to make holiday memories.
  7. Try music, scent and sunshine. According to the Mayo Clinic, music and scented candles can create a sense of well-being even in difficult situations and stressful times. Open your windows for fresh air and hopefully sunshine. Vitamin D, derived from sunlight, is known to help people feel happier, according to the Mayo Clinic.
  8. Don’t skip a session. When your calendar is filled to the brim and you’re looking for things you can skip, you may be tempted to cancel a therapy session if you are getting counseling. Don't. The APA says sticking with therapy even through this busy time can help you manage the excess stress during the holidays.

One more thing that can give your mood and your business a boost: focus on your clients. One of the most personable ways to celebrate your clients during the holidays is to pick up the phone and call them to wish them the happiest of holidays. Letting clients know you are always there for them is a welcome message. Like a Cinch home warranty, it’s comforting to know someone is looking out for you. You’ll likely get voicemail, but when they listen and hear your voice, they’ll remember you and appreciate your extra effort.

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