Home » Blog » How to Lower Your Holiday Stress

How to Lower Your Holiday Stress

How to Lower Your Holiday StressIt’s holiday time. In addition to everything else you have to do, you now have shopping, decorating, wrapping, entertaining, organizing, cleaning and cooking to tend to.

Why does life have to be so hectic? Why can’t the celestial stars align in a more efficient way? With perfect timing, you know you’d get everything done with joy and smiles, like a greeting card.

But no. The holiday has to come when the kids are off from school, the weather is nasty, the house is disorganized, your pants don’t fit, your bills are piling up, the traffic is horrendous and you feel exhausted.

All you want to do is rest and take it easy. It all feels like too much. What’s a person to do?

Here are a few ideas to help you create a less stressful holiday:

  • Say no to commercialism and hype. Forget about those “once in a lifetime” sales. Don’t rush right out to get the latest deal. Decide what you are going to buy. Stick to your decision. Let others drive themselves crazy scurrying around to get the best holiday sale ever.
  • Be satisfied with yourself. You’ve accomplished so much. You sit down to relax. You feel satisfied. Then strangely enough, more things pop into your mind that you have to do. Just one more item to cook. One more area to straighten up. One more gift to buy. One more invitation to send out. But you don’t always have to do more. You’ve done enough. Sit back and relax.
  • Choose to be fulfilled, not frazzled. What is it that makes you feel fulfilled during the holiday season? Is it the spiritual aspect of the holiday? Is it getting together with family? Is it spending time with friends? Is it being charitable? Is it the joy of decorating? Is it the glee of gift-giving? Follow your own script. Make the holiday season work for you.
  • All things in moderation. Even good things go awry when they are in excess. Too much eating (ugh, I feel so stuffed). Too much drinking (I’m sloshed). Too much spending (I can’t believe my credit card bill). Too much socializing (if only I had a day to relax). Too much traveling (the traffic is a nightmare). Too much togetherness (my family can be so overbearing). So make sure whatever you do is done in moderation.
  • Create a team effort. Holiday stress affects more women than men. Women tend to create the holiday by doing most of the work. If you feel overly burdened with responsibility, don’t just gripe about it. Instead, call for a family meeting. Ask others to participate in holiday preparations. Don’t come across as an angry taskmaster. Instead, brainstorm as to how the holidays can be more fun for all by having everyone share in the preparations.

Now that you know how to make this holiday less stressful, will you make the necessary changes? Perhaps yes. Perhaps no. Too often, we spend our whole lives trying to fit into the norm when we are meant to stand out from the norm and do our own thing.


How to Lower Your Holiday Stress

Linda Sapadin, Ph.D

Dr. Linda Sapadin, psychologist, success coach and author is proud to announce the publication of her new book, Overcoming Your Procrastination: College Student Edition – Advice for 6 Personality Styles available on Amazon. Now more than ever with remote learning, this book is a must-have. If you’re a perfectionist, dreamer, worrier, crisis-maker, defier or please, grab your copy. No longer a student? Get my book How to Beat Procrastination in the Digital Age – 6 Change Programs for 6 Personality Styles. Visit to subscribe to my free e-newsletter. Contact her at

One comment: View Comments / Leave a Comment
APA Reference
Sapadin, L. (2018). How to Lower Your Holiday Stress. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 1, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Jul 2018 (Originally: 18 Dec 2014)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Jul 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.