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5 Tips and Tricks for a Stress-Free Holiday Season


Does anyone else feel as though they blinked and were magically transported from Halloween straight to December? Ready or not, the holiday season is here…and, like it or not, that often brings a level of stress that can put a damper on our holiday spirit.


Don’t let seasonal worries steal your joy this year! To help, we’ve gathered a list of our top 5 tips and tricks to keep you stress-free and attuned to what matters most this time of year.
  1. Embrace (a Little) Chaos

After all, tis the season, and having plans go off the rails, or unexpected invitations or guests arrive, is part of the holiday season.


Prepare yourself for the fact that things will likely take an unexpected turn at some point during the holidays and embrace a spirit of flexibility. Doing so will allow you to find happiness in all the unexpected adventures.
  1. Do What You Love

One of the quickest ways to add stress to the season is by taking on too much in order to please everyone. You cannot attend every holiday event you’re invited to (odds are, you may receive invites to gatherings you’d rather not attend). And you cannot spend your entire holiday season baking all the goodies.


Be selective. Attend the parties thrown by the friends and family who are close to your heart and kindly decline the rest. Bake the goodies that make you smile…the cookies you made with your grandmother or the candies you and your children love. Filling your time with the people and activities you love is the perfect way to reduce holiday stress.
  1. Carve Out Time for Yourself

It’s important to take time for you this holiday season. Enjoy a quiet meditation session. Get outdoors and go for a refreshing walk in the cool air. Curl up in your favorite reading nook with a favorite book and cup of cocoa or seasonal tea.


Taking the time to take of yourself allows you to fill your spiritual cup, ensuring you have plenty of love in your reserves to dole out to those you care about.


  1. Let Go of Perfection

It’s easy to focus on making this Christmas the best, most idyllic holiday gathering your family has ever experienced. But putting such high expectations on everything can send your blood pressure straight into the stratosphere.


Let go of perfection. Cookies may burn. A string of lights may blink out right in the middle of your tree. Aunt June may ruin the turkey. Embrace all the little imperfections…they’ll likely become the topic of holiday memories you’ll share with those you love for years to come.
  1. Remember What Matters Most

It is easy to lose sight of the meaning of the holiday, especially if you’re stuck in a nasty traffic snarl, or trying to navigate through the hustle and bustle amidst surly shoppers at your local grocery store or shopping center.


When stressful moments threaten to steal your joy take a moment to pause, take a cleansing breath, and remember what matters most about the season—spending time with the family and friends we dearly love. Sharing a meal…and gifts…and a bit of our hearts with one another.


Because, at the end of the day, taking time to share joy with those who mean the most to us is what this season is really all about. We hope these tips help you slow down, accept what is, and embrace what comes your way this holiday season.



Hopkins Medicine

National Alliance on Mental Illness

Maine Huts & Trails

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