How to Use Photography to Cope With Holiday Stress

November 24, 2022

Sometimes it is great to have a creative outlet to express how you feel

Photo by Keenan Constance on Unsplash

Whew, Thanksgiving is a wrap, and it is time to head back home for a few weeks before the subsequent influx of holiday madness — Christmas.

If you are like me, you probably feel a lot of stress around the holidays.

There is anxiety and pressure from friends and family, and you think that if you don’t meet the expectations of everyone, you will be a failure.

Right at the moment when my head is about to explode from thinking about it all, I give myself a well-deserved photography break.

How photography helps to relieve stress, pressure, and anxiety

Photo by Omid Armin on Unsplash

It is no secret that art therapy is a thing. And photography gives you several essential things in one shot (you see what I did there?).

  1. It gets you out of the house and away from what is stressing you out.
  2. It gives you sun and fresh air, often instant ways to improve your mood.
  3. It gives you exercise. Have you ever gone on a long walk just to clear your head? Take your camera with you to express how you feel. It clears the head faster.
  4. You get to be creative. Sometimes self-expression is one of the biggest stress relievers out there. I once spent an entire year battling depression and creating art to understand circumstances, and it worked to get me back on track.
  5. It allows you to be brutally honest and to be yourself. Photos don’t lie. They are our innermost desires and thoughts in the mind’s eye. Take your camera, and don’t be afraid to photograph yourself.

An exercise and a gift for you

Photo by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash

Step 1: Grab your camera and chart a destination. If you don’t have a specific goal in mind, no worries. Simply walk around your block or neighborhood, or head to the nearest local park.

Step 2: Make 20 photographs of anything that catches your eye. If you are not feeling particularly inspired, start by making one photograph of whatever is in front of you in one-minute increments until you reach 20 photos.

Step 3: Look back at your photos on your digital camera and find the one you think is most interesting. Ask yourself why it is interesting. And when you come to your conclusion, photograph that for at least an hour.

Step 4: Return home after your adventure, unload your camera on your computer, and get some delicious food. Prepare your favorite dish, or order out. It does not matter.

Step 5: Edit your favorite images, and create a Medium account on

Step 6: Visit and join as a contributor.

Step 7: Once approved as a contributor, return to Medium and create a post with all your favorite photos from your adventure. Then, submit it to Share A Picture Magazine on Medium.

Step 8: Many new friends and fellow creatives will see your work, applaud your work, and you will form new ideas for your next adventures.

Step 9: And finally, after all of this, your stress dissipates. You forget why you were stressed, to begin with. And voila! You’re welcome.

What are your favorite things to photograph to relieve stress and anxiety?

P.S. Want to listen in on more tips to relieve holiday stress with your photography? Jump over to my podcast What Would Charlie Shoot (Spotify, Apple, Amazon) or subscribe here to listen for new episodes:

Hi, I am Charlie Naebeck

I am a husband, photographer, teacher, writer, entrepreneur, and adventurer.

Book a complimentary Zoom call with me to form an action plan for your photography at:

Also listen to the What Would Charlie Shoot podcast and subscribe at (also on Spotify, Apple, Amazon, and where podcasts live).

If you like what you read, please consider giving me a follow on Medium.

Thank you!

How to Use Photography to Cope With Holiday Stress was originally published in Share a Picture on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.