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How to cope with stress during the holidays, according to a Penn State counselor

Worried woman during holiday
Stefan Schweihofer
The holidays can lead to stress and exhaustion.

The holidays bring not only joy, but also additional stress and fatigue into our lives. Dr. Aiesha Lee, a clinical mental health counselor and an associate professor at Penn State, said there are things you can do to maintain your mental health.

“Giving yourself some grace and recognizing that this isn't a default of you, but rather the product is life," Lee said. "And then my next suggestion would be to rest, which I know is really loaded, because there's so much to do.”

Lee said nothing is more important than maintaining your health. She said resting and mindfulness can help reduce stress.

“Your body is holding onto not only this entire year, but your body is also remembering how it felt last year around this season,” Lee said.

Lee said understanding the brain and body connection and meditation can help during the holidays.

“It can look like just laying on the floor," Lee said, "kind of grounding yourself. And just relaxing that way for five minutes if you want.”

She says walking, getting outside and focusing on the present moment can also be good for mental health.