How to deal with holiday stressors

If you’re feeling pressured to buy expensive gifts.....


Kids don’t typically remember what their gifts were by Mid January! Materialism.....leads to less happiness, less social connections, more depression/anxiety. Time with you is much more important---builds relationships, teaches skills, gives attention.
The receiver does not feel as much as the giver: control your own need, make it about them.


Turn off the TV or social media (Comparison is the root of so much pain!)
“Santa has a budget”: Talk to older kids about what they want, explain “if x, then no y”. Wrap up things individually, split up clothing or toy parts, with names on them.
Give small things that can be meaningful to them.
Open one gift at a time, take turns. Focus on each gift, make it special.
Get family into spirit of giving by donating some of their toys or things.
Put things into perspective for yourself: will this gift matter in a year?

If you fear being alone, feeling lonely, missing someone or worrying about family....


Turn off the TV or social media (Comparison leads to buying things you don’t need!) When relatives are visiting: set rules and limits ahead of time, ex: we will have dinner between 3 and 5 pm, then switch into our evening routine. When you’re visiting others: decide if worth it (is my time and energy used well?), prioritize who you want to see or spend time with, plan it shorter or less often. Remember there’s no ‘perfect family’: lots of families are split apart, fighting, grieving, not together. Media lies: dinners don’t go on forever, not everyone’s there, not everyone’s happy! Our country is at war; think of what the soldiers and their families are going through and send them all some peaceful and loving energy of appreciation.
Lots of families don’t even acknowledge or celebrate holidays, take pressure off yourself!


Make a care package; donate, volunteer, bake cookies, spend time giving back to others. If single or alone, plan on a fun date by yourself (dinner and spa) or party hopping with friends. Think of the benefits of being single or alone---spontaneous fun others might not have. You decide if you want to focus on thoughts of loneliness and abandonment or if you’d rather focus on what you have and who you’re with.

Don’t work out past issues during family gatherings at the holidays.
Don’t look to change someone or the way they do things in your presence or in their lives; politics and religion beliefs will not change during one conversation, so it’s best to avoid those topics if possible. It is OK for us to have different perspectives and still like each other and spend time together. Don’t look for approval, attention or acknowledgement from family members. Accept them for who they are and do your best to enjoy your time together

If you find yourself feeling maxed out and running around with that busy holiday feeling:

1. Breathe 2. Give yourself a good talk/thought (“I’m healthy enough to get around all by myself”) 3. Keep things into perspective (My time is the most important gift) 4. Prioritize self care 5. Give yourself permission to not do it all 6. Delegate/ask for help!