Reducing Stress and Anxiety During the Busy Holiday Season

black man stressed out with christmas lights on them getting rid

Are you tired of the holidays being synonymous with stress and anxiety? Do you yearn for the simple sentiments of Christmas past, and to stop buying so many darned Christmas presents?

Here are a few ideas for bringing meaning into your merrymaking this holiday season.

Top 5 Ways To Keep Your Holiday Season Bright

Choose simple, thoughtful gifts

It may seem easier to just hit the mall on a big sale day, but retail Christmas gifts rarely deliver in the meaningfulness department. A picture frame filled with special family memories, a hand-knitted hat and mitten set, or even an agreed-upon family getaway in lieu of mall gifts for Christmas, can really set the tone for a special and meaningful holiday.

It’s okay to say no

You really needn’t feel obligated to attend every event that crops up during the busy month of December. If you, like most of us, have trouble figuring out when “fun plans” are morphing into “If I have to show up at another event wearing another ugly holiday sweater I’m going to lose my mind,” then do this. Try to shoot for ONE plan per weekend day for the entire month of December. In rare cases, for example, if you’re doing volunteering in the morning and a Christmas party in the evening, then it could be two. But DO try not to overbook this year. I promise it will greatly enhance the quality of your social interaction this holiday season!

Give yourself and your family the gift of time

If you’re doubling and tripling up on Christmas plans on a single weekend day (such as a Saturday), then it’s too much. If you’re trying to cram in Christmas tree and house decorating weekend with other social plans, it’s too much. If you’re having to be two places that are more than 30 minutes away from each other within a span of 4 hours, it’s too much. We can’t do and be everything to everybody, even more so at holiday time. So give yourself permission to save your Yeses for the things and people who matter most, and offer a polite “no thank you, maybe next time” to everyone and everything else!

Stockpile goodies and little gifts

How much holiday baking and shopping can one person humanly accomplish and still manage to enjoy themselves? A good way to not be so frazzled this Christmas season is to keep some ready-to-go gifts and goodies on hand. This way, if you accept an unexpected last-minute invite, you won’t be stuck in your kitchen trying to will the oven to bake faster. You won’t be cussing under your breath at the automated checkout line in the grocery store. Think cheap but festive holiday tins, packaged cookies, chocolates and candy canes, and anything small like a holiday votive candle set that would make a nice take-along last-minute gift.

Shop for gifts online

Online shopping is one of the best ways to feel WAY less stressed during the holiday season! Nothing beats having the entire family’s cache of Christmas gifts delivered right to your doorstep. You can’t go wrong with Amazon Prime for speedy delivery and some killer deals. And if you want vintage and homemade, then head on over to to get your pick of handmade and handcrafted items to hand out at the holidays this year. You can also check out our toy reviews and Holiday Gift Guides to make shopping even easier.