How to reduce stress at Christmas

Updated: Jan 10

It kind of goes without saying that 2020 has been a year of ups and downs, stress, anxiety, and depression are running at an all time high. The festive season is often a stressful time of year, and for 2020 the pressure to create a magical day for tamariki and whānau, will be a huge strain for some Kiwi’s.

For others, the Kirihimete period can increase loneliness and hardship, with limited access to, important services. Try to keep in mind that the true gift of the season is our presence, not our presents. While we all try to keep an eye on our friends and whānau, it is also an important time to look out for our hoamahi, our workmates, as well.


Giving our time, our words and being present, not only makes us feel good, but it can make others feel great. Looking out for someone’s mental well-being doesn’t need to cost the earth.


Some cost-friendly ways, from the Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand, we can use to look out for each other during the silly season are:

  • Taking friends or whānau to look at Christmas lights. There were 232 lit-up houses in Aotearoa last year!

  • Spending quality time with whānau doing things you all enjoy.

  • Heading along to listen to Christmas carols.

  • Making Christmas arts and crafts. Bake seasonal treats to give away as presents, create decorations or reduce your card costs! Crafts are a great way to get tamariki involved in the festive spirit.

  • Visiting people/whānau in your community who may be a little lonely over the festive season. Rest homes and animal shelters value companionship and Christmas cheer. Random acts of kindness also do the trick.

Some ways to reduce stress for you, whānau and others around you, are:

  • Spending time in nature. Over summer the Pohutukawa blossom, the sun shines more, and the days are longer. Taking a walk through the bush, throwing the ball around with your tamariki, going to the beach or planting vegetable seeds are some great ways to connect with the environment.

  • Buying food on special ahead of season, when prices are lower. We find buying kai early can also help manage our Christmas budgets.

  • Finding time to recharge. Thousands of Kiwis celebrated this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week by being active, learning, giving, connecting and taking notice.

Christmas can be stressful – but it doesn’t have to be.


If you ever feel Christmas pressure is affecting your or someone else’s mental health, you don’t need to keep it to yourself – call or text 1737. The Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand has trained counsellors always on hand to help.

A private training establishment granted registration by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority.

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9E Beatrice Tinsley Crescent
Albany, Auckland 0632

New Zealand

​Phone: 09 447 1998

All prices are in New Zealand dollars and exclude GST unless otherwise stated