Dealing with Holiday Stress

This time of year is supposed to be filled with peace, love, and joy. Instead too many families find themselves stressed out, overextended, and downright grumpy. If your peace only comes from covering your ears and screaming, or your love is directed only at the cashier who forgot to ring up one of your purchases, or your joy is only expressed when you cut off someone else's car on the highway, you might want to take some steps to find your way back to the real meaning of Christmas. Here are some tips to help you find your peace, love and joy again:
  1. Make a list of no more than three things that are most important to complete that day. Everything else isn't important enough to worry about. If you accomplish more than what's on the list, reward yourself with a bubble bath.
  2. Shop alone. If you can't leave your kids with your spouse, find a neighbor who will swap babysitting time with you. Once you're out and about by yourself, take your time and enjoy it.
  3. Practice saying no. You don't have to make cookies for the kindergarten class and sew the costumes for the church play and organize the bingo for the nursing home and hand-make all your holiday cards and knit scarves for the homeless. Pick just one of those things that will be meaningful, do it, and be done.
  4. Turn off the television. It's just more background noise. You're being constantly bombarded with commercials telling you what you need to buy for yourself to be happy, when in reality happiness comes from within. Plus, for every commercial the kids see, they'll be begging for that toy instead of playing with the things they have.
  5. Send the children outside to play. If they are at least 3 years old, they can play in a fenced in backyard without you standing over them. If you are a worrier, watch them from inside through a window while you enjoy coffee and some quiet.
  6. Forgive yourself. No one can do it all. No one wants to do it all. Christmas comes just once a year. This year, sit down and soak in the meaning, instead of trying to rush around creating it for everyone else.


  1. Hi Lisa, I love this post! You made very good points. I especially like the first one, although I admit I don't do it enough. Those list can really clear things up in your mind and bring some sense of relief and order at any time of the year and of course, during the holiday season. Thanks so much!


  2. All wonderful advice on how to deal with the woes that this time of year often brings to some of us. We all have so much to be thankful for, but we don't all have an easy time remembering that. Thanks for sharing some sage words, that I think everyone could benefit from. Merry Christmas!