We often feel over stressed during the holiday season because of our tendencies to apply additional pressure during the month of December.  We want to give the perfect gifts with the perfect wrapping, the perfect holiday cards, the perfect outfit for our holiday parties, the perfect day (or days depending on which holiday you celebrate), and all of those perfects add up to a lot of stress. We have two choices: we can either identify this time of year by stress or we can choose to focus on what’s really important and enjoy our time with family and friends.


Here are our top 5 ways to de-stress your holidays this season.


  1. What’s a priority? Sit down and make a list of the traditions that make you and your family feel fulfilled and that are a true priority.  Maybe you really don’t look forward to your company Christmas party every year. Kindly let them know they won’t be seeing you at this year’s party. Or you don’t want to spend Christmas day driving around to each of your family member’s houses, so don’t. Give yourself permission to do what is truly valuable to you and your family.
  2. Schedule it. I know it sounds crazy, but put these activities in your calendar as you would schedule a work meeting.  We have a tendency to overcommit ourselves, and if we block out the time on our schedule we can look at exactly what we can or cannot say yes to.
  3. Online Shopping. Finish your holiday shopping online.  Don’t fight the holiday traffic and wait in the long lines. Aside from shopping local, one of our favorite websites for holiday shopping is Etsy.  If you are ever worried about the item or shipping timeframe, it is easy to contact the vendor to ask questions. Don’t forget about the stores that make it easy to shop online and pick up in-store (as quickly as an hour later). Or go ahead and splurge on gift wrapping and have the gift shipped directly to your out-of-town relatives.
  4. Slow down. What are the holidays without the ones we love the most? Slow down, cuddle with your family on the couch and watch a favorite movie. Grab some travel mugs of hot cocoa (with marshmallows, of course!), then jump in the car or go for a stroll around your block and admire the neighborhood Christmas lights. Or plan a night to spend quality time baking homemade cookies.
  5. Plan an after the holidays party. If celebrating the holidays with your friends is important, but you are limited on time throughout December, plan an after the holidays party in January. This will show your friends you don’t want to add to their holiday stresses and lets them know they are still important to you. Trust me, they will thank you.


Don’t allow yourself to feel stressed this holiday season. Instead, focus on what is important and enjoy your time with the ones that mean the most.


From our family to yours, we are wishing you a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a Joyful New Year!