For many people, Christmas and the holiday season are a happy and joyous time, enriched by reuniting with family and friends. But year’s end can also be very stressful. Old patterns of behavior emerge, our stress levels rise, and our ability to cope flies out the window. People with unloving parents or problematic families face a whole different set of challenges.
No sooner than we have put away the Thanksgiving tableware and decorations, we begin the hunt for Christmas presents and wrapping. The final days of the year bring a few weeks of stress and constant motion for many. For others, the holiday season can bring about feelings of being overwhelmed, depression, and loneliness.
We can’t stop the world from turning, but perhaps a few of the articles in our annual guide will help you better manage the emotional challenges that the holidays present.
This year’s guide includes fresh topics and content, updated posts from previous years, and some perennial favorites covering a wide variety of holiday-related issues. We wish you a peaceful, stress-free, and joyful holiday!
- 3 Psychology Studies on Gift Giving
- The Real Christmas Present is You
- Why I Think Santa Claus Has ADHD
- A Lesson in Giving
- I’ve put this off way too long
- Ideas for Meaningful and Low-Cost Last-Minute Gifts
- Create a Coping Plan for Challenging Holiday Situations
- 5 Reasons Why Holidays Can Be Stressful
- 3 Tips To Eat Healthy This Holiday Weekend
- 5 Challenges You May Be Facing This Christmas Holiday
General Holiday Coping
- 9 Steps for Reducing Stress this Holiday Season
Reduce your stress levels this year.
- Mindfulness May Ease Holiday Habits & Stresses
Mindfulness can help this holiday season.
- Why Do People Go Home for the Holidays?
‘Tis the season for gatherings and celebrations, and an onslaught of travelers are urgently trying to make their way home for the holidays.
- 10 Ways to Beat Holiday Stress
Even more great ideas to help you better handle the holiday stress!
- Healthy Boundaries for the Holidays
How to keep your family relationships healthy and in-check during this busy time of the year.
- Holidays Got You Down? Try These Things to Help
You’re not alone if you’re not exactly feeling in the holiday spirit this year. But you can do things to help yourself get through it with as little stress as possible.
- How to Survive the First Set of Holidays without a Loved One
Perhaps a new custody agreement has the kids spending the holidays with their other parent.
- Resisting Reaching for the Smartphone Temptation This Holiday Season
When you’re gathering with your family or friends this holiday season, I suggest you try something unthinkable: don’t take your smartphone out or check it.
- Mindful Driving in the Christmas Rush
I am really feeling the benefit of peppering my day with mini-meditations right now. The next one I want to share with you is this: mindful driving.
- 6 Ways to Get Through the Holidays
I feel guilty writing that: “getting through the holidays.” I’ve done an excellent job this year of scheduling events that will force my brain to appreciate the magic of the…
- How to Thrive — Not Just Survive — the Holiday Season
If the sights and sounds of Christmas evoke dread, anxiety or depression, you’re certainly not alone.
- How to Keep Calm and Carry on During the Holidays
- Navigating the Holidays When You Have Depression
- How to Stay Mentally Healthy During the Holidays
- Making Happy Changes in Your Holidays
3 rules to help you change your holidays for the better.
- Coping With Loneliness During the Holidays
Loneliness is common during the holidays.
- 3 Spiritual Tips for Staying Sane Through the Holidays
As the holiday season winds up for its last big week before Christmas, here are a few spiritual tips to help you remember what the season’s all about.
- Therapists Spill: My Favorite Holiday Tradition
- 20 Dependable Holiday Stress Busters
- How to Enjoy the Busiest Time of Year
- 8 Tips to Make the Most of Your Holidays
Do things right this season.
- 9 Ways to Have a Simpler but More Satisfying Holiday
Simplify to surprise yourself!
- The Christmas ‘Not To-Do’ List
Things you shouldn’t do this holiday season.
- 8 Ways to Keep Your Sanity During the Holidays
8 simple tips to help you keep your sanity.
- 9 Ideas for Coping with the Holidays When You Have a Mental Illness
Advice and tips for coping when mental health issues are a part of your life.
- 8 Ways to Take the Joy Out of the Holidays
Want some sure fire ways to ruin your holiday? Here they are.
- Tips for Melting Your Holiday Stress Away!
- The Season Of Giving (Yourself A Break)
- The Easiest Way to Spread Holiday Cheer
- 8 Ideas for De-Stressing the Holidays
- Holiday Stress Survival Tips
Top Ten Relaxation Tips to Sooth your Mind and Body During the Holiday Season
- Ho-Ho-Ho-Holiday (Office) Parties: Bah Humbug?
The annual office party got you down? Here’s some ways to make them less painful and more fun.
- 12 Tips to Keep Joy in the Holidays
You can keep things under control this holiday season with these twelve, down-to-Earth tips.
- Focus on Meaning, Not Money: Christmas on a Budget
You can still have a good time even when money is tight.
- Holiday Traditions
Understanding the importance of family traditions around the holidays.
- Simplifying the Holidays
You won’t be able to follow through with whatever good intentions you have for simplifying and de-stressing unless you get to the bottom of why you sabotage yourself time and again.
- It’s All In How You Look At It: Transforming Holiday Angst into Gratitude
Ready or not, like it or not, we’re surrounded by holiday hoopla every year. It’s no wonder that we all feel stretched.
- Talking Turkey: Managing Unhappy Relatives at Holiday Time
How do you deal with your most difficult relatives during the holidays?
- Don’t Stress Holiday Travel
Quick tips to get you traveling safely and with less stress than last year.
- Finding Meaning in the Holidays and Christmas
Take a few moments to reflect upon the meaning of the holidays for you and your life.
- Helpful Hints for Navigating the Holidays
Helpful tips to help you navigate the holiday gatherings in your life.
- Holiday Coping Tips
Need more tips? Try these!
Alone for the Holidays
- 10 Things to Do If You’re Alone for the Holidays
10 quick tips to help you deal with being alone this holiday season.
- Coping with Being Alone for the Holidays
More practical tips on things you can do to help keep you in the holiday spirit this year.
- Alone During the Holidays? Join the Crowd
Keep the holidays in perspective.
- The Ghosts of Holidays Past
A story of what the holidays mean to us.
Depression, SAD and Drinking
- 9 Holiday Depression Busters
- Celebrating Safely with Alcohol
8 tips on how to safely celebrate the holidays.
- Nine Ways to Beat the Bah Humbugs
Feeling like the holidays got you down? Relax and prioritize and you’ll be surprised how it all can come together.
- Holiday Drinking: Keep It Safe
5 strategies for keeping it safe during the holidays.
- Beating the Holiday Blues
You can beat the holiday blues today!
- Not in the Holiday Mood? It Might Be the Blues
Why can’t you get into the holiday mood? It might be depression or something else.
- Wrung-Out by Ringing-In the Holidays: Dealing with Post-Holiday Blues
The crazy holiday season is over… Now what?
- Enjoying the Winter Holiday Season
Although you may feel down this holiday season, there are things you can do today to help make yourself feel better.
- Shedding Light on Winter Depression
What is “winter depression,” or seasonal affective disorder?
- Relapse Season
- Seasonal Affective Disorder
Psych Central’s Seasonal Affective Disorder resource center.
Relationships & the Holidays
- Keep Your Connection Strong This Holiday Season
5 ways to manage the holidays while maintaining a strong connection with your partner.
- 4 Quick Tips to Help Protect Your Relationship During the Holidays
Don’t take your stress out on your partner.
Children & Family
- Santa Claus: Innocent Fantasy or Harmful Lie?
- The Key to Celebrating Holidays with Multiple Family Loyalties
- Competing Family Loyalties in the Holiday Season
Dealing with family conflict and make yourself happy in the process.
- The Empty Chair at the Holiday Table
The first holiday after a loss is the most difficult.
- ‘Tis the Season to Regress
Falling into old familiar family patterns?
- When Your Child Asks, Is Santa Real?
What do you do when a child asks this inevitable question?
- Holiday Family Drama? How do You Cope?
- Making Tough Decisions At The Holidays – No Bullying
- Holiday Feasts and Family Misbehavior
Dealing with the family during the holiday dinners.
- Special Occasions and Special Needs Kids
Here come the holidays. For many parents with special needs kids, here comes more stress.
- Holiday Travel with Young Kids
Learn the secret to traveling with kids — travel in the “kid zone.”
- Making the Most of a Holiday Apart from Your Kids
Can’t be with your children this holiday season? You can get through it with a few simple tips.
- Preparing Kids for Holiday Visits
You love to travel with your children, don’t you? Make it less stressful for them and for you.
- Managing Children’s Expectations: A Key To Happy Holidays
It’s up to you to manage your kid’s expectations for the holiday season, leaving no one disappointed.
- Seasonal Stepfamily Stress: Tips to Help All Your Family Members Enjoy the Holidays
You’ve got a lot to deal with two families, but you can make it work more smoothly.
- Holiday Baking: A Recipe for Family Fun or Frustration?
Baking can be fun for kids if you keep some of these simply tips in mind.
- 6 Mindful Ways to Minimize Holiday Stress
You can be more mindful with just a few easy tips.
- More Coping with Holiday Stress Tips
More tips on how to deal with the inevitable holiday stress.
- The Turkey Trail: Which Home for the Holidays?
So many families, so little time!
- Holiday Stress: A Resourceful Survivor’s Guide
Survive the holiday season with grace and less stress than last year!
Gifts, Cards and Presents
- Holiday Gift Guide: 10 Powerful Psychology Books to Give
- Holiday Gift Guide: 11 More Powerful Psychology Books to Give
- 4 Singular, Sensational Gifts for This Holiday Season
Are you tired of trying to figure out what gifts might delight your loved ones?
- Re-Gifting or Re-Giving?
- Holiday Gifts that Don’t Cost a Thing
- 10 Helpful Hints for Holiday Spending
Keep yourself from going overboard with gifts.
- Gifts That Don’t Cost Money
- 7 Holiday Gift Ideas For Mental Health Consumers And Advocates
- Zoe’s Top 10 Gift Picks
- Rx for Mental Health: Send Holiday Cards!
It’s easy to get cynical about holiday cards. There certainly is a lot of pressure to send them for all the wrong reasons.
- Getting to the Heart of Holiday Gifting
It’s not about material presents, it’s about gifts from the heart.
- The Christmas Limit
Setting limits helps everyone have a more enjoyable holiday.
- Toys for the Holidays: Buying Gifts for Other People’s Children
What do we buy for other people’s children?
- 10 Things You Can do Differently Today
Instead of offering you 10 things you can do to help keep your resolutions, we’re going to share with you 10 things you can do differently today that will help change your life.
- New Year’s Resolutions: Role-Modeling the How of Making Change
It’s not just about resolutions, but about committing to change.
- Seven Steps to Keeping Your New Year’s Resolutions
7 ways to try and keep the resolutions you made.
- 10 Sure Ways to Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions
You’ve read everyone else’s top 10 tips to keep your New Year’s resolutions, now read ours!