Americans are Less Stressed About the Holidays than Previous Years, Studies Show

Gillian Sisley

How much holiday stress is considered reasonable?

While the holidays are generally considered ‘the most wonderful time of the year’, they tend to come with a considerable amount of stress. From shopping, to decorating, to cooking, to preparations, to a lot of additional costs—the holidays can be a hefty and stressful endeavor all around.

Each family dynamic is different, and family pressures can come along with plenty of people feeling that they have to meet up to the expectations of others, meaning that they may push themselves to do a lot more than they actually want to.

A recent study conducted by Sesame, a telehealth marketplace company, has shown that while many still get bogged down by the holidays, they are learning to manage their stress and the pressures a little better than last year.

Is some holiday stress just expected?

The annual study pulls online data from its recipients each year, gauging how their mental health is affected by the holidays. In 2021, their study found that 3 out of 5 Americans polled found that their ‘mental health is negatively impacted by the holidays’.

With that said, the 2022 data found that this number has gone down—with only 2 out of 5 Americans making the same statement about their mental health being negatively impacted.

Among other information, 49% of respondents reported that their anxiety has risen over the holidays, with 64% citing ‘financial stress’, and 19% feeling an increase in ‘COVID-19 related stress’.

This holiday stress isn’t necessarily being taken lying down either, with 38% of respondents stating that they are already seeing a therapist regularly to manage their current stress levels.

Are Americans becoming better at setting boundaries in place?

Of this data, numbers from holiday-related anxiety and depression are both down 11% from last year, with COVID-19 concerns down by 19%. Financial stress, however, remains the same over both years, hovering around 65%.

When asked where these stressors were coming from, respondents cited a rise in inflation (38%), gift shopping (at 19%), and having to handle ‘difficult family dynamics’ (15%). 43% of Americans have also decided that they won’t be traveling out of town to see family this year, while 40% are deciding that they won’t be attending family gatherings at all.

What do you think? Is stress just something that comes along with the holiday season, and it’s a reality everyone has to come to terms with? Or is it important for people to create more boundaries and protect their mental health this holiday season?

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