The holidays – a time for well-deserved rest. But for many also a time filled with anticipation, tight planning and social gatherings. Something that can come with a price tag, both financially and energy-wise, which risks leading to increased stress rather than recovery. The stress reaction helps us perform in demanding situations. Stress in itself is not dangerous, but can become harmful if the stress lasts for a long period without time for recovery, rest and sleep.

We take vacations to rest and recover from an otherwise stressful everyday life and work. But stress can manifest itself in different ways for different people. What creates stress in each individual is also different – and does not always have to be work-related. What makes you stressed may not affect your partner, friend or colleague in the same way. Even time off can contribute to increased stress levels. Below, we’ve listed five things that can create holiday stress – and what you can think about to reduce it.

Planning and organization

Planning and organizing before the holidays can be a process that contributes to increased stress. Arranging everything for travel and leave can feel both overwhelming and time-consuming. Lack of time also creates stress before departure. Try not to over-plan. It is unreasonable to do everything in a short time and above all do not forget the time for rest and recovery – to do nothing.

High expectations

The holiday season often comes with high expectations – that everything must be perfect and flawless. But that is not always the reality, which can lead to disappointment and stress and can make it difficult to relax. Therefore, try to lower your expectations and accept that everything will not turn out exactly as you imagined.


During the holidays, more time is often spent together with the family. It can lead to conflicts through different opinions about what to do and irregular routines. In addition, constant proximity to each other can create tension, conflict and stress. To avoid unnecessary conflicts – talk together beforehand to discover and discuss conflicting demands and expectations before the holiday.

Financial stress

The holidays can be an expensive period with expenses for travel, accommodation, food and entertainment. Something that is more clear this year due to the world economic situation. Worrying about one’s finances, not being able to do things that others can, or feeling pressured to do experiences that are costly can create stress. It can be difficult to influence your financial situation, but it can be good to avoid comparing yourself too much with others. Social media can be an influencing factor that can give a beautified picture of reality. One measure to reduce potential stress might be to take a break from social apps.

Work and vacation

Worrying about the workload, or an already stressful job, after the holidays can keep you from being able to really relax and enjoy your time away. Try to decide in advance how you want to approach work during vacation. Disconnect completely if you have to – or keep an eye on your work email sometimes if it contributes to reduced stress.