How to Make the Holiday Season Less Stressful

Avoid letting stress rob you of holiday joys this season. Give yourself a gift by preparing to manage the high-intensity season with thoughtful planning.


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You Will Need

  • Plan
  • Helpers
  • Family peace treaty
  • Realistic expectations
  • Budget (optional)
  • Volunteer opportunities (optional)


  1. Step 1

    Make a list

    Make a list of your priorities and check it twice, making sure it realistically aligns with your available time and energy. Don't take on more than you can handle.

  2. Step 2


    Plan days for shopping, sending cards, baking, and other favorite holiday activities.

  3. Maintain a gift, food, and entertainment budget to avoid the stress of overspending.

  4. Step 3

    Delegate tasks

    Delegate tasks to other family members, keeping in mind that even small children are capable of providing an extra hand.

  5. Step 4

    Create time for yourself

    Create time for yourself to refresh, recharge, and keep focused on what is truly meaningful about the season.

  6. Step 5

    Avoid overindulgence

    Avoid overindulgence, resisting the extra goodies and drinks, and stay committed to caring for your body with adequate sleep and exercise.

  7. Grab a healthy snack before holiday parties to reduce the temptation to overdo on high calorie foods.

  8. Step 6

    Make a peace treaty

    Make a peace treaty with family members with whom you have differences, setting aside a later time to address conflicts.

  9. Volunteer to help others if you are alone for the holidays.

  10. Step 7

    Maintain a realistic attitude

    Maintain a realistic attitude, letting go of perfection, and adapt to family changes and circumstances, while remembering to hold precious the small things that make lasting memories.

  11. The average American gains about one pound during the holiday season.