Holidays are more stressful than tax season, causing people to overlook even their health needs, according to a survey report by the American Heart Association (AHA).

Out of 1,000 adults who participated in the nationwide survey, 79% said they were so involved in creating special moments for others that they overlooked their own needs during the festive season.

Although holidays are meant for unwinding, most often people experience stress while trying to organize different things, doing multiple roles, balancing work, family, finances and routine obligations. After holidays, 71% of participants regretted that they did not take time for themselves and relax.

The results of the survey also suggest that people take a long time to recover from holiday stress. Around 51% of the respondents said it took them weeks to recover from the stress after the holidays, while more than 25% of mothers said they needed months for recovery.

Although the demands of the holiday season may sometimes be overwhelming, adopting simple healthy habits to your routine can help relieve stress. Here's what AHA recommends to do:

  • Eat smart – Eating smart involves taking reasonable portions of food and including colorful fruits and vegetables
  • Move more – Know that any amount of activity counts. So even if you do not have time for a full workout, try to fit in a short walk into your routine.
  • Sleep well Getting good sleep helps to improve mood, eating habits and your overall health. Make sure you set an alarm to silence your phone and to remind you that it is time to wind down.
  • Connect with people – The holiday season is all about connecting with people. Make sure you share your feelings, including your stress with your loved ones so they can support you while you enjoy time together.

"Chronic stress can negatively impact both your long-term mental and physical health in many ways if left unmanaged. The holidays are an easy time to justify putting off healthy habits, but it's important to manage chronic stress and other risk factors to stay healthy during the holiday season and into the New Year," said Dr. Glenn N. Levine, an AHA volunteer.