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3 Ways to Combat Holiday Stress and Excess

December 3, 2022
selective focus photography of girl an woman hugging each other in front of christmas tree

Do the holidays stress you out?

The holiday season is a fun, festive and happy time for so many reasons, but it's also natural to feel overwhelmed by the excess, inundated by obligations and/or stressed and emotional for other reasons.


Read on for my tips for how to refocus your holidays and simplify the season.

1) Say "no" to just one thing


A few years ago, I said "no" to a family event - a tradition that occurs every year on Christmas Eve, but also lined up with my youngest child's naptime. I felt so guilty saying that I couldn't go - but my child needed his nap and I needed a break from the hustle and bustle.


Spoiler alert: it was honestly one of the best parts of that holiday season! I took a bath, relaxed and re-energized myself and Christmas Eve went much better since we were both well rested. My takeaway: give yourself the grace to say "no" to one obligation, even if it's hard.

2) Outsource something

You don't win a prize for being the one to do it ALL for the holidays. Step back and take an honest look at all that you do for the holidays and consider whether you could outsource one (or part of one) of these holiday-related tasks:


  • Wrapping (Can you order things gift wrapped? Do you have a friend or neighbor who loves wrapping more than you that you can recruit?)
  • Baking cookies (Either skip it or hire it out!)
  • Cleaning your house before company (time is money, sometimes it's worth it to hire the help!)
  • Cooking everything (make it a potluck, get it catered...)
  • Dishes (could "fancy" disposables cut it?)

You get the idea!

3) Declutter before the holidays


Before MORE comes into your house is a great time to question the items that are currently there. Knowing that you are soon going to be needing to make room for new toys or clothes or books can be good motivation to free up some real estate in your home.


Plus, passing on your gently used items to a charitable organization may help another family this holiday season.

Small changes and little reductions can make a big difference in how you face the holiday season. When you can start to curate what's meaningful to you, and say no to the rest, you can embrace the reason for the season a little bit easier.