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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.


  • 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.
  • Step 2: Plan Plan days for shopping, sending cards, baking, and other favorite holiday activities.
  • TIP: Maintain a gift, food, and entertainment budget to avoid the stress of overspending.
  • Step 3: Delegate tasks Delegate tasks to other family members, keeping in mind that even small children are capable of providing an extra hand.
  • Step 4: Create time for yourself Create time for yourself to refresh, recharge, and keep focused on what is truly meaningful about the season.
  • 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.
  • TIP: Grab a healthy snack before holiday parties to reduce the temptation to overdo on high calorie foods.
  • 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.
  • TIP: Volunteer to help others if you are alone for the holidays.
  • 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.
  • FACT: The average American gains about one pound during the holiday season.

You Will Need

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

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