5 Tips for Managing Holiday Stress

Okay, I know the holidays are supposed to be a time of pure joy and relaxation, but let’s face it, they can be kind of stressful.  There’s the whole issue finding a schedule that works for everyone, the juggling of multiple celebrations (and multiple families), the cooking and hosting and shopping, etc.  It can feel just a tad bit flustering.

And as someone who gets stressed out and overwhelmed pretty easily, I’ve come to realize there are some things I have to do to avoid any “oh my gosh, I’m supposed to be at a holiday party in 10 minutes and I have nothing to wear” meltdowns.  Anything that makes it easier to feel that pure joy and relaxation of the holidays is worth it to me!


Tip #1: Realize you can’t do it all.

As much as I’d like to run a Turkey trot, watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, spend the day cooking and fit in all three family Thanksgiving meals, that would just make for one insanely busy day.  So something’s gotta give.  Or a few somethings rather.  And there’s always next year (or the next day, in the case of the parade!) to do the things you couldn’t do this time around.

Tip #2: Know what you’re wearing.

I envy those people that pick out their outfits the night before.  I think I did that for a week in high school but nowadays I don’t know what I’m wearing for the day until 10 minutes before I leave the house (doesn’t that just speak multitudes about my lack of fashion sense?).  BUT, during the holiday season, when it’s busy and I’m usually in a rush, it is so not helpful to not know what I’m wearing to this, that or the other family gathering.  It’s much easier to decide ahead of time and just be on auto-pilot come the day of.

Tip #3: Cook ahead of time.

If you don’t cook, go ahead and skip this one.  Your life is probably so much easier 🙂  As for me, I can’t imagine not forcing yet another Brussels sprout dish on Joey’s side of the family… And I also know most things are fine to be made ahead of time.  Or at least prepped ahead of time.  I leave only finishing touches or anything that just needs to be popped into the oven for the day of.  Except that time we forgot to cook the aforementioned Brussels sprouts and only remembered five minutes before we had to leave the house.

Tip #4: Use a calendar.  Or, if you’re in a relationship, share a calendar!

Ugh, that just made me sound so married, didn’t it?  Joey and I have our iCalendars (or is it iCal??) synced so that when one of us adds an event, the other gets a notification (or so it should be if your phone is working correctly…).  In a perfect world, that means no scheduling conflicts between you and your significant other or between all your social engagements, Butterfly.

Tip #5: Enjoy the moment.

This one is just as much for me, as for you!  Don’t get so caught up in what’s coming up that you miss what’s happening in the present 🙂

Bonus Tip #6: If all else fails, wine. 

Nuff said!


Do you have any holiday survival tips?

2 thoughts on “5 Tips for Managing Holiday Stress

  1. Love this post. As you know, I’m all about prepping to cook. It just makes everything easier and eliminates things burning cuz I’m trying to do too much at one time or totally forgetting to do something. And now that I’m not the only cook in the family, I don’t have to do it all. I’m trying a spatchcocked turkey this year which takes 45-minutes to cook, freeing up a lot of valuable oven time. Here’s just one more stress busting tip — GET A MASSAGE. Hope tomorrow is a gastronomic delight, with a minimum of stress! And, just what are you wearing?

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