Got Holiday Stress? Here’s How To Cope…

December 18, 2013  |  

Do I have enough boxes and bags? Did I get the batteries for the toys? Wait…where is my tape? Do I have to go BACK to the store? Ughh…

If that’s been your running internal monologue, you may have lost the loving glow of holiday cheer and replaced it with a bitter scrouge attitude. The holidays can and most often are stressful with so many things to do, people to see, money to spend and having to listen to Mariah Carey belt out that last note to All I want for Christmas is  Youuuuuu at every major department store known to man.

Let’s all take a deep breath before you strangle someone with their jingle bell. Here are a few ways to keep down the holiday stress…

Plan Ahead

Seems simple enough but if you’ve ever been to the store for the cinnamon or batteries you forgot on Christmas eve, you know that it’s often a common mistake. Walk through every holiday dish you are going to make. Pull out the ingredients and walk through the recipe as though you are making it right now. This can help you point out what’s missing early and head to the store before the rush. If gifts are the source of your stress, take a hint from Old St. Nick and check your list twice. Have a friend look it over. And if you have toys under the tree, just buy the big pack of multiple batteries just in case!


Is everyone coming to your house for the holiday? Hire someone to clean up. You can generally find a good housekeeper deal  on Living Social or in your local paper.  Consider hiring a trusted teenager to take care of the task as well. Take one thing off your plate so you can really enjoy the day. If you aren’t great at wrapping gifts, opt for gift bags, pre-wrapped boxes, or having it done at the local mall. You’d be amazed how less stressed you are when you aren’t up wrapping gifts at midnight on Christmas Eve. Basically, anything that seems like it will eat up a lot of time or cause stress, find someone else to do it for you.

Stop and Breathe

Stop. Breathe. Nap. Try it again. We often forget the simple task of sleeping or resting when there is so much to be done. A quick 20 minute nap may seem like an inconvenience but you will save yourself from crashing later. Before you walk into the mall, again, sit in your car for 5 minutes, breathe, play your favorite song and sing your heart out, then go inside. Those 5 minutes of doing something you enjoy can pick up your attitude and help you feel less stress. Might keep you from cussing someone out over the last gift set too!

Focus on What You Can Control / Be Flexible

Something will go wrong. The toast will burn, the store will be sold out, the snow will come. Focus on what you can control and do that. Waste no time worrying about things you can’t change. Remember the holidays don’t have to be perfect to be enjoyable. Remain flexible to change your plans if you have to and keep your stress down!


Sometimes the holidays are so stressful because we forget what the season is all about. No matter your religion, you can take some time out to serve during the winter holidays. When we serve others, we are reminded that despite what looks like huge problems in our life, we should be grateful for what we do have. If you find yourself getting stressed out just take a breather and serve at a homeless shelter, hospital or nursing home. Remind yourself what it’s really all about and get back out there with a renewed mindset!

How do you keep your stress down during the holidays? Any tips or tricks? SHARE in the comments below.

Dee Rene is the author and creator of Laugh.Cry.Cuss. Follow @laughcrycuss !

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