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by Erika Albertini, PT, DPT December 06, 2023 11 min read

8 Tips For A Stress-Free Holiday Season


It's easy to get caught up in the holiday rush, feeling stressed by all the expectations and traditions. We often put so much pressure on ourselves to please everyone that we forget about our well-being. But you know what? The real magic of the holidays lies in being present, showing love, and connecting genuinely with others. It's about soaking up the joy, creating beautiful memories, and treasuring those special moments.

Do you want to know the secrets to a stress-free holiday season? We’ve got you covered.  These tips help manage stress levels and bring back the true essence of the holidays. 


Can you believe it's that time of the year again? Every year, I am surprised by how fast the holiday season rolls around. But ready or not, the holiday season is here, filled with the promise of joy, family, and celebration. And let’s be honest, it can also bring its fair share of stress and exhaustion. If you're determined to navigate the festive season with ease and tranquility, here are some tips that are sure to help. 

1. Prioritize Yourself: Remember to take care of yourself  first during all the hustle and bustle. Schedule some me-time on your calendar, and think of your personal time as a non-negotiable VIP appointment. Just like you wouldn't miss a crucial meeting or an important doctor's appointment, your me-time deserves the same level of commitment. Schedule it on your calendar, whether it's a peaceful morning meditation session, a relaxing evening bubble bath, or a revitalizing walk at lunchtime. This time is for you to recharge and rejuvenate. Embrace it fully, knowing that by doing so, you're benefiting yourself and enhancing the quality of time you spend with others during the festivities.

Creating a balanced holiday routine is your secret weapon against stress. According to the  Therapy Group of NYC , maintaining routines can significantly reduce anxiety and prevent burnout. So, how do you create a holiday routine that keeps your well-being in check?

Sleep Soundly: Prioritize your sleep. Aim for 7-8 hours of restful sleep each night. A well-rested mind is more resilient and can handle holiday stressors more effectively.

Nutrition Matters: Don’t let the holiday feasts derail your eating habits. Balance those indulgent meals with nutritious choices. Incorporate super greens powders like Rewind Greens into your diet for a quick, delicious, and nutritious boost. It’s an effortless way to ensure you're getting essential nutrients daily.

Keep Moving: Find ways to stay active. Whether it's a morning jog, a quick HIIT session, or simply taking the stairs instead of the elevator while shopping, every bit counts. Physical activity is a proven stress buster and mood enhancer.

A woman with her eyes closed having a relaxing time and enjoying her bubble bath
Think of your personal time as a non-negotiable VIP appointment. 

2.  Plan and Organize: The secret to surviving the holiday chaos is efficient planning. Grab a calendar or planner and start jotting down your commitments, events, and tasks. Having a visual representation will be a game-changer. You can create to-do lists and list tasks for each day or week and then write off completed tasks to feel a sense of accomplishment. You can break down the big tasks into bite-sized chunks. Focus on one thing at a time and avoid being overwhelmed.

But here's the most important tip: be realistic. Don't overcommit, and embrace the fact that not everything will go according to plan. It's all good, and you're doing amazing, no matter what!


3. Establish Boundaries: Saying 'no' is okay; be comfortable saying no without feeling guilty. Politely decline those invitations or extra commitments that threaten to overwhelm your schedule. Remember your time is precious, and you get to decide how to spend it. Communicate your boundaries to friends and family, let them know when you need downtime, and choose events wisely. For instance, if multiple parties occur on the same day, select the one that aligns with your priorities. Set boundaries and be honest about what you can manage. It's okay to decline gracefully and prioritize what matters most to you. Setting your boundaries is essential to avoid burnout and manage stress effectively.

4. Simplify Gift-Giving: Gift-giving doesn't have to be a headache. You can make simpler choices. It can significantly reduce stress by minimizing the pressure, financial strain, and time-consuming aspects of shopping.

Here’s a list of suggestions on how to streamline the joy and lessen the stress:

Decrease Financial Stress : When you set aside a specific budget for gifts, you stop overspending. Instead of buying for everyone, consider a Secret Santa or limit the number of recipients. Try this: suggest exchanging gifts only with immediate family members or a specific group of friends.

Save Time : When you streamline the gift-giving process, you also simplify the whole shopping and wrapping routine. One way to go about it is by embracing online shopping or considering the convenience of gift cards; they’re super handy. Oh, did you know Rewind Greens Super Greens now offers gift cards? Go ahead and easily share the gift of health with your loved ones :)

Have you thought about gifting experiences? They're personal, don't require endless shopping, and perhaps the most significant gift is your quality time. 

Less Decision-Making : Here's a thought…Why not aim for fewer gifts and get one gift that hits the mark? Instead of lots of small stuff, go for something significant for each person. It makes choosing less complicated and more impactful for the recipient. 

Focus on Meaningful Gestures: Emphasize the sentiment behind gifts rather than their monetary value. Do you know what makes a gift super special? It's all about the meaning behind it, not just how much it costs. Things like handwritten notes, personalized stuff, or even sharing experiences. Those things show how much you care. They're thoughtful without making you stress over the price tag.

Gift-giving shouldn't stress you out! It's all about spreading joy and making someone's day. Keep it easy; keep it fun.

Two hands holding a gift box with a red ribbon symbolizing a thoughtful and simple present
Gift-giving - Keep it easy; keep it fun!

5. Manage Expectations: Let's talk about the pursuit of the 'perfect' holiday. Holidays aren't about having everything perfect. Sometimes, it's those little unplanned moments that make the best memories. Instead of stressing over everything being flawless, decide to enjoy the ride. Embrace the unexpected twists, laugh at the minor mishaps, and focus on having a good time. 

In an article by  PsychCentral , setting self-expectations is beneficial to your life, but they must be realistic; you should determine expectations early on, learn to let go, give yourself time and grace, focus on what you’ve accomplished, appreciate what you already have and build confidence.  

Imperfections in the decorations or plans don't spoil the fun; they're part of the adventure. We should stay flexible, keep an open mind, and remember that plans might change, but it's all good. Communicate openly and respect everyone's views; it'll make things smoother for everyone.  


6. Seek Support: During the holidays, it's okay to lean on your squad for some extra support. Getting help or just having someone to talk to can take the edge off. Whether it's a shoulder to lean on, a friend lending a hand with those holiday tasks, or simply feeling connected with your crew, having that support system can make a huge difference in lowering stress levels. Don't hesitate to reach out and share those moments; it makes everything feel so much better.

Here’s why: 

Emotional Resilience: When you open up and chat about what's on your mind with friends, family, or even folks in support groups, it's like releasing some of that built-up pressure. Imagine you're talking it out with a good friend over a video call, sharing what's stressing you out, and guess what? They get it; they've been there too, and suddenly, it's like you're both lifting each other up. Or think about joining an online group where people understand what you're going through and cheer you on. It's about finding that connection, feeling understood, and building resilience together. So, sharing your feelings isn't just about letting it out; it's about finding that comfort and strength in your circle.

Sharing Responsibilities : Handling all the tasks and responsibilities during the holidays can totally feel overwhelming. But, seeking a helping hand can lighten the load. Asking for support with meal preparations, decorating, or even childcare can be a game-changer. Getting family members involved in preparing a holiday meal or assigning tasks like setting up decorations can take a lot off your plate and create a fun, collaborative atmosphere. It's a win-win!

Community Engagement: Have you ever considered participating in community events or volunteering during the holidays? It's about helping others, and it can do wonders for you too. Being part of local charity events or lending a hand at shelters helps in finding a sense of belonging and purpose. You'll meet new people, feel more connected, and it'll definitely lift your spirits during the holiday season. Plus, making a difference in someone else's life is super rewarding.

Asking for help during the holidays isn't a sign of weakness. It's actually a smart move! It's about sharing the load and gaining different viewpoints to help manage all the holiday craziness. When you reach out for advice or support, you get a fresh perspective that eases the emotional weight of this busy season. So, don't hesitate to seek support; it's a proactive step that can make things much easier.

7. Embrace Gratitude:  Being grateful during the holidays is a powerful antidote to stress. It's about focusing on the good stuff. When we stop and appreciate the small things, like enjoying a cozy moment with hot cocoa or sharing a laugh with loved ones, it changes everything. Showing gratitude for the people around us and the moments we share brings us closer together and makes us feel less overwhelmed. Imagine keeping a little gratitude journal or even writing a heartfelt thank-you note, it boosts the good vibes and helps push stress away.

Even when things get a bit crazy, finding something to be thankful for, like the chance to be with family despite travel delays, shifts our minds from stress to gratitude. So, embracing gratitude is like having this inner calmness that helps us roll with whatever the holidays throw our way.


8.  Create Meaningful Traditions:  What's awesome during the holidays? It’s creating meaningful traditions. It's like a stress-beater. When we do stuff like baking grandma's special cookies or doing a yearly volunteer thing together, it's finding a little safe spot in all the craziness. A press release by the  American Psychological Association highlights that family routines and rituals are essential to the health and well-being of today's families trying to meet the busy demands of juggling work and home.

These traditions give us a sense of belonging.  Take something simple like decorating the tree together. It brings everyone together, creating lasting memories. And here's the cool part: these traditions keep us steady when everything else feels like a whirlwind. Whether cozying up by the fire for stories or having a fun potluck dinner, they shift our focus from stress to something exciting. Plus, traditions are like little memory boosters. Think about that particular Christmas Eve meal or the holiday scavenger hunt. They're like instant happiness reminders, bringing us warmth and joy. So, making and sticking to these traditions is like finding time to be happy and connected, giving us a break from all the holiday rush.

A loving family works together to decorate their Christmas tree, smiling as they carefully hang ornaments on the tree's branches.
Family traditions today are tomorrow’s feel good memories. 


I know the holidays can get hectic, but I wanted to remind you to take a breather. Take it easy, enjoy every moment of the holidays, and don't let stress take over. You're totally capable of handling this. Remember, it's about soaking in the joy, making beautiful memories, and cherishing those special moments. If things get a bit overwhelming, just take a step back, catch your breath, and dive back in when you're ready. You’ll sail through this holiday season like a champ!




1. How can I manage time better during the holidays?

When it comes to handling all the stuff on your plate during the holidays, prioritizing tasks and events can make a real difference. Think about making a schedule or jotting down a to-do list. It might sound simple, but it works like magic. By having a clear plan of what needs to be done and when you'll feel more organized and less stressed about forgetting something important.


2. What are effective relaxation techniques for handling stress?

Even if it's just for a few minutes, stretching and breathing with some yoga poses can melt away stress like magic. Try deep breathing exercises or meditation. It's all about finding what suits you best: a short yoga flow or a five-minute meditation session. Don't forget about taking short breaks; a quick pause to relax, a walk outside, or listening to your favorite song can reset your mood and help you tackle tasks with a refreshed mind. These small can make a huge difference in keeping stress at bay during the festive season.


3. How do I deal with family-related stress during gatherings?

Setting boundaries can be a game-changer when things get busy during the holidays. It's okay to say "no" to things that might overwhelm you. Communicating openly with friends and family about what works for you helps avoid stress, too. Patience is key; sometimes things might not go as planned, and that's alright. Embrace those little hiccups and focus on the positive moments. Imperfections are part of the fun; just enjoy the ride and make the most of the joyful times.


4. What are practical ways to manage financial stress during this season?

Making a budget for holiday expenses is a smart move. It helps manage your finances wisely. When planning gifts, it's great to set a sensible budget that works for you without putting a strain on your wallet. Also, think outside the box for celebrating. There are loads of cool ways to enjoy the holidays without splurging. Get creative and explore fun activities or thoughtful gestures that don't break the bank.  


5. How can I handle the pressure of gift-giving and expectations?

When it comes to gifting, keeping things realistic is key. Homemade or heartfelt gifts are gems. They carry that personal touch and warmth that money can't buy. It's not about the price tag; it's about the sentiment and care you put into it. That's what truly counts. So, don't fret about finding the "perfect" gift. Focus on what makes it memorable and meaningful for the person you're gifting to. That's the real magic.



1. Create a Schedule or To-do List:  Jotting down all your commitments, events, and tasks in one place helps you visualize what's coming up and what needs to be done, keeping everything organized. You can plan your days better when you have it all written down. Break down those big tasks into smaller, manageable ones. You can assign specific tasks daily or weekly, making it less overwhelming. The goal here is to have a guide that aids you in relieving stress. So, take it one step at a time and celebrate each task you tick off your list.


2. Set a Holiday Budget:  Allocating a holiday budget has its merits. It gives you a spending roadmap and helps you decide how much you can comfortably spend on gifts, decorations, and other holiday stuff without feeling stressed about money later. Once you set your budget, stick to it as best as you can. Get creative; you might find fantastic options within your budget range, or you can explore alternative ways to celebrate without breaking the bank. Your holiday budget can save you from the post-holiday financial blues and keep your celebrations fun and stress-free.


3. Reserve Time for Relaxation:  Carve out some time for yourself. Imagine having a cozy moment with hot tea or a relaxing bubble bath. It's like hitting the pause button amid all the festivities and chores. Consider activities that help you unwind. It could be reading a book, listening to soothing music, doing yoga, or simply taking a stroll. These moments of relaxation work wonders in recharging your batteries. This time is essential for your mental and emotional well-being. It's like giving yourself a mini-vacation amid the holiday rush, allowing you to approach the celebrations with a refreshed and peaceful mind.



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