4 Tips to Reduce Holiday Stress

4 Tips to Reduce Holiday Stress

The holidays are coming… quickly. What do you notice when you think about the holidays? Joy, excitement, anticipation? Or is it stress, worry, and a feeling of being overwhelmed? It is not uncommon for this time of year to bring a lot of stress to our lives. Our already never-ending to-do list gets MUCH longer, the days feel shorter and there just doesn’t seem to be enough time to get everything done.

‘Tis the season to be joyful right?! Well then why doesn’t it feel like it!! It can be difficult to ENJOY the holiday season when we are overwhelmed with everything that seems to come with it.

Make this year different. Make this year more enjoyable! Here are 4 tips to help you reduce stress this holiday season

1. Prioritize what is most important to YOU

The list of things to get done before the holiday is never ending and let’s be honest… it is IMPOSSIBLE to do it all. Between decorating, buying gifts, making cookies, hosting parties, making meals, gatherings with friends and family, wrapping gifts, holiday traditions, and LIFE there is not enough time to do it all. So, find out what is most important to you and your family and focus on that!

TIP — Take out a piece of paper. Write down (in no specific order) all the things that come to mind when you think about what you want to get done before Dec. 25th. Okay. Now that take list and put them in order from most important to least important. Here’s an example:

To-Do List

Prioritized To-Do List

2. Give yourself permission to NOT do it all

Once you know what is MOST important to you it is easier to determine what is a MUST DO and what is a WANT. Here’s the difference: a MUST DO during the holidays are things that have a lot of meaning to you, the things that really make the holidays feel special. The WANT to do things are those that have less meaning or are less of a priority.

TIP- Take that same list and mark which are most important to you, which can be removed, and which ones will happen if you have the time. You can also simplify!

Simplified To-Do List

3. Simplify where you can

Find ways to simplify! There is often a pressure to do everything the ‘best’ way during the season. This year you don’t have to let unimportant things bring more stress into your life or take a lot of your time. Need cookies? Buy some instead of making them from scratch. Need to wrap gifts? Utilize gift wrapping when available or use gift bags.

TIP- Look at your new, updated and prioritized to-do list. Is there anything that can be done in a simpler/easier way? It’s ok to ‘cut corners’ on the things that hold less importance to you.

4. Be present (no pun intended)

If you don’t do anything else to reduce stress this holiday season, do this. Be present. Be present in the moments that mean the most, with friends, family and loved ones. It’s okay if everything isn’t perfect. You’ll remember the love, laughter and good times, not that everything was perfect. Stay focused on what’s important.

TIP – Try not to get wrapped up in the small details and instead, enjoy the small moments.


This year you can choose to do things differently. You can choose to enjoy, to have fun and to be joyful. Focus on what is important to you, what will bring more meaning to the season and what will bring you joy. Let go of the need for everything to be done and to be done perfectly, especially if it’s robbing you of Joy.

Wishing you a HAPPY and JOYFUL holiday season!