Thanksgiving and the Holidays: 8 Ways to Stress Less and Enjoy More

Many of us feel like 2021 has raced by – and suddenly, Thanksgiving and the Holidays are here! With things still very different from pre-COVID times, how do you cope with the additional stress and prevent feeling more overwhelmed?

You Aren’t Alone In Feeling Stressed and Overwhelmed

In my private practice, I am finding that people are more stressed out, burnt out, and emotionally exhausted than ever.

And yet, they are trying to hold it all together and continue on “as normal” for family, friends, and co-workers. They feel guilty for not being more grateful for all that they have in their lives. They say, “I shouldn’t feel this way, what is wrong with me?

If you find yourself in this situation, please know that you are not the only one.

Don’t Compare Yourself: Social Media Isn’t Real Life

Comparing ourselves to others can cause stress and depression. You don’t truly know the truth of others’ lives, despite what you see posted on Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok. What people portray their lives to be for online clicks, likes, or shares, is often exaggerated and designed to produce a response from you and gain more followers. Social media is definitely not the yardstick that you want to compare yourself or your real life with.

8 Ways to Enjoy More and Stress Less

Here are 8 ways to reduce stress and overwhelm, and enjoy Thanksgiving and the Holidays more:

  • Set your intention to take care of yourself and be kind to others.
  • Stop or cut back on social media.
  • Write a list of what and who is stressing you out.
  • Create a to-do list and prioritize what is
    • Essential
    • Important to yourself and your loved ones
    • What you can delegate
    • What you can delete 
  • Set boundaries and stop interacting in toxic relationships, even if they are family!
  • Let go of all of your expectations and guilt surrounding the holidays. 
  • Lovingly accept yourself and all the multitude of emotions you may feel. 
  • Give yourself and others permission not to be perfect; love yourself and them anyway (this may mean from a distance) 

My Holiday Wishes for You

These are my wishes for you as we enter this Holiday Season: may you be safe, healthy, happy, and at peace.

Happy Thanksgiving,

Isobel McGrath Signature

Isobel McGrath is a licensed International Mental Health Counselor, Life Coach, and Certified Hypnotherapist located in St. Augustine, FL.

Isobel provides EMDR and other therapy, counseling, life coaching, and hypnosis in person at her St. Augustine Beach office, and through Telehealth. She is dedicated to providing exceptional, collaborative care, and truly cares about her clients and their well-being. 

For more information about St. Augustine Therapist Isobel McGrath, please visit:, and