5 Tips for Minimizing Holiday Stress

Published on 11/19/2021

5 Tips for Minimizing Holiday Stress

With this week coming up being a holiday week, our time starts to really fill up. The next couple months can be so lovely and special but they can also be overwhelming and downright stressful. Here are 5 tips to protect our time and set boundaries so we don’t overextend ourselves and we can still enjoy the season.

1. Practice saying no

There will inevitably be more events and invitations than we can feasibly say yes to. There are so many exciting holiday parties and gatherings and special happenings that we don’t want to miss. Not only can family or friends pressure us to attend things, but also our FOMO is real and we can pressure ourselves into overbooking our time. Remember you’ll be able to enjoy events more if you choose them wisely and leave time to rest and get other chores and errands done. Practice saying no early on and frequently. Think about it this way. You’re not just saying no. But rather you’re choosing what you can wholeheartedly say yes to.

2. Establish expectations with family

Have a conversation earlier rather than later with family that you will be visiting or hosting. Let them know any new boundaries like dietary restrictions or preferences for how long they or you stay. It might not always be easy to have these conversations but it will help if those expectations are at least voiced out loud ahead of time. 

3. Take the time off work you need

Because a lot of us need and want to take time off work around the holidays, we might feel guilty about leaving work in a lurch. But if the holidays are important times for you and your family to gather, then it’s ok to take the time you need (if you are able). Your traditions and special moments are worth the time away from the office or computer screen.

4. Make a plan

Help yourself by planning ahead of time as much as possible. This will help you stay organized and accomplish all to-dos on time. Meal-plan and prep when you can and don’t be afraid to go with simpler menus for a few weeks. Utilize take out more if needed. Schedule errands, appointments and holiday shopping in your free time. Block out time you think you’ll need to prepare your home for guests or prep a meal or dish to bring to an event. The goal is to organize your time as much as possible so you’re not left scrambling day after day and burning the midnight oil.

5. Stick with your budget

It is so tempting during the holiday mayhem and marketing pushes to think we need to buy more gifts or more decorations. But it’s important for your future wellbeing to create a holiday budget and then try your best to stick with it. Yes, you will feel the pressure and draw to buy the nieces and nephews another few gifts. Or perhaps you are pulled to splurge on a fancy new light show for the outside of your home. But if those items will blow your budget out of the water, best to wait for another year. 

Overall, remember your wellbeing and health is important too. Remember what you are able to do is still more than enough for those you love and who love you.