Melanie's Blog

20 Ways to Avoid Holiday Stress

November 18, 2019

Christmas is around the corner, and with it comes the promise of good times with family, church and friends. When I think of this time of year, I think of Christmas music, movies, lights, decorating, baking, gifts, parties, church, outreach, concerts... wait a minute... I'm already starting to feel some pressure on my time, my energy and my pocketbook! 

Holidays can be stressful, and stress is harmful to us. It negatively affects us physically, mentally, emotionally, and behaviorally. It can overwhelm our personal wellbeing and strain our relationships.

Christmas is meant to be a time for joy, peace on earth, goodwill to men, but because of stress, Christmas can be a time for fretting, fighting, and fatigue. To get the most out of Christmas, we need to avoid stress.

Here are 20 tips for avoiding holiday stress:

  1. It’s okay to say “no.” Don’t pressure yourself or others to do EVERYTHING.
  2. Start your day looking to God. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you for what to do and how to do it.
  3. Grieving a loss can sneak up on us without us knowing it. Take time to feel. Let God go there are comfort you.
  4. Live within your means. If you can’t afford gifts, limit spending.
  5. Respect traditions – don’t be bound by them. Enjoying Jesus is more important than the pressure of performing.
  6. Communicate stress with loved ones. If there are any cracks, you don’t want the pressure to break you to pieces.
  7. Initially plan alone time and guard it.
  8. If you eat some sugar, choose wisely. Sugar is poison to our body and mind and will wear us out.
  9. Physical activity is a great way to release pressure.
  10. Worship. There is nothing better than soaking your spirit with God’s presence.
  11. Are you laughing? Laughing relieves tension. Get around a funny friend. Get around kids. Watch a comedy.
  12. Too much work and no play builds up tension. Get around people and have some fun.
  13. If crowds stress you, shop online or go to stores during slow hours.
  14. Too much Christmas? It’s okay. Take a day and do something not Christmasy.
  15. If you are married, make sure you are getting under the mistletoe. Enough said.
  16. Make Christmas your own. Don’t set unrealistic expectations. Don't compare yourself to others.
  17. Bump projects. If a task doesn’t have to be done this year, can you bump it to after the holidays?
  18. Give. Inward focus is like an emotional log jam. Giving has joy; it’s good for the giver.
  19. Stress turns emotions up, so get your heart in control of your soul. Keep any drama under.
  20. Get your full sleep. If the body doesn’t rejuvenate, stress is inevitable. A good Christmas means rest!

I hope these are helpful tips for you to overcome holiday stress and enjoy the Christmas season!