Solutions for 4 Common Holiday Stresses

Solutions for 4 Common Holiday Stresses

Discover how to take the stress out of 4 common holiday season stress occurrences.


By: Melissa A. Kay

The holiday season is upon us. While family, friends, traditions, gifts, food and fun are on the agenda, undue stresses can fall upon even the jolliest of us. Make this time of year the joyous season it deserves to be by following these tips to take the stress out of the holidays. Read on for five ways to say goodbye to holiday stress and hello to the most wonderful time of the year!

1. Stress: Holiday Shopping

Solution: There is something exhilarating about fighting the holiday crowds at the mall for the best bargains and special gifts, clothes, and toys, but do you really need the hassle of that hustle and bustle? You’ll enjoy the shopping experience much more if you give yourself time to shop thoughtfully and leisurely, avoiding last-minute impulse purchases which can add more to your spending budget than you had intended.

Think about holiday shopping well before the crowds go wild. Even just a few weeks earlier will give you space to shop, think carefully about what you’re spending, and put more thought into unique purchases. You’ll feel less stressed knowing you’ve covered your shopping list well before the holiday rush.

2. Stress: Time-consuming Baking

Solution: Do you love to bake holiday treats for family gatherings and as gifts for friends? Leaving it all for the last minute will stress you out and may even keep your goodies from coming out as tasty as they can be. Plan ahead. There are lots of cake, pie and cookie recipes that can be prepared ahead of time, refrigerated or frozen, then baked as needed.

3. Stress: Kids Home for Winter Break

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Solution: The kids are surely excited for some time off from school, but this shake up to your routine can certainly bring on a headache. Prepare ahead of time to avoid a stressful vacation.

  • Take turns with friends for having the kids for the day.
  • If the grandparents live nearby, schedule the kids a few days away at their place.
  • Avoid boredom with some free or cheap day trips to museums, bookstores, arcades, bowling, etc.
  • Plan an afternoon for movies or a nice lunch out.

If you have an agenda, you’ll feel in control, the kids will have fun plans to look forward to, and you’ll feel relieved that the kids won’t go stir-crazy and make you feel a little crazy, too!

4. Stress: Family Visitors

Solution: We all love our families and in-laws, but sometimes an extended holiday stay can be stressful. If a nearby hotel is simply not an option and the family must stay at your home, there’s no need to freak out — you can make it an enjoyable experience.

  • Take this time to learn more about your family by playing some fun games in the evenings like charades or a family-friendly game of truth or dare.
  • Take advantage of the extra hands around the house for assistance with gift wrapping, food preparation, watching the kids, and helping with some errands and the kids’ playdates.
  • If you would like some time alone, plan a day for the relatives to go out to see some local attractions.

Plan an itinerary for your guests to enjoy so you can have some breathing room for a few hours. Mostly, think about the happiness your family brings you and that is sure to outweigh any stress you may be anticipating.

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