8 Tips for a Stress Free Holiday Season


The Christmas holiday season is my favorite time of the year. I love everything about the season: family, food . . . football!

I intentionally thin my schedule down and operate on cruise control enjoying the slower pace of the holidays. The relaxation and time with family brings me a sense of happiness. This time helps me start the New Year with an extra burst of energy and excitement for things to come.

I know this unfortunately is not the case for everyone. Studies show people in the United States are more likely to feel stress increases rather than decreases during the holiday season.

If this describes how you feel this holiday season, keep reading! I have 8 tips on How to Have a Stress-free Holiday!

1.     Relax

Easier said than done you say? However even before a flight, the flight attendant tells us to put our oxygen mask on before putting it on others.

There is a reason for that. If you do not put your mask on first, you will not be able to take care of anyone else. The same applies to our everyday life. We need to take care of ourselves.

Focus on yourself. Make yourself a priority. Intentionally schedule time to relax during the holiday. It will give you more energy, both physically and mentally, to enjoy the season.

2.     Spend time with God

Spending time with God and His Word grounds us in the true meaning of the season and sets up our New Year in alignment with Him.

3.     Avoid excess food and alcohol

Yes, I know it's the holiday season and you certainly should enjoy the office parties and family potlucks however let's decide beforehand not to overindulge. If you enjoy an alcoholic beverage, enjoy it in moderation.  Take in all that comes with the season however we should be careful not use food or alcohol to cope with stress.  

4.     Let go of perfection

No one person can do it all.

With the multitude of everyday demands — job, finances, spouse, kids, household chores, etc.– expecting a picture perfect holiday is a recipe for disappointment.

When you pull out your holiday checklist, remind yourself that perfection does not exist.

5.     Don’t feel pressured to spend 

Every commercial or post online is designed to make us feel dissatisfied with the life we have. We feel pressured to spend too much money on the gifts everyone wants. But in reality the gifts we give aren’t likely to matter as much as we would hope.

Don't believe me, ask your loved ones two simple questions:

  • What did I give you last year?   They likely won’t remember . . . 
  • Where is that gift now?   Chances are, they have not used it since February . . .

6.     Be thankful

We could concentrate on everything we don't have and all we wish we had however think of all that you do have. Focus and think, “What if I woke up tomorrow with only the things I thanked God for today?”

7.     Focus on spending time with your loved ones

No one at the end of their life wishes they bought more stuff or spent more time at the office. It is time with family and friends that is most treasured.

Enjoy those in your world during the holidays as much as possible.

8.     Guard your hearts and mind

Even if dealing with strained family issues, don’t let those situations hijack your emotions. Protect your mind from all negative thoughts and replace those thoughts with positive life-giving thoughts.

Wishing you all of the joy and peace this special season has to offer!

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