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How to Have a Less Stressful Holiday Season!

There are several effective ways to overcome stress during the holidays. The key is to determine what's causing your stress so you can plan and reduce its impact on you. Ultimately, you'll see that most of the stress you experience results from your expectations of yourself and your interpretation of events.

Less Stressful Holiday Season

Do you feel overwhelmed and anxious about this holiday season? 

Well, don't be so upset; you're not alone. Many people around the world share and feel what you feel, myself included. 

According to Andy William's song, 
"Christmas is The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year!"

However, this most beautiful time of the year is also the most stressful time for many, and remaining calm and at peace, ironically, is the message of Christmas, but it becomes a challenge.

There are so many things that can make this season very stressful. These include family gatherings, gift buying, and coping with loss or loneliness.

How can you have a less stressful Christmas/holiday season? Please continue reading.

Family Gatherings. You may look forward to the holiday season because you will see family members that you only see once a year or even once in a blue moon. However, some may also dread this time because it could also mean old wounds will resurface or disagreement can occur.

How can you reduce, if not turn off, the stress switch during family gatherings? Here are some steps you can take.

  1. Recall and write down the triggers that cause undesirable feelings and spot the pattern. Then, create a plan on how you can ditch those triggers.

  2. Give compliments to the members of your family. If you think your siblings or cousins are so negative and cannot find good in them, think deeper and find one nice thing you can tell them. Who knows, your compliment will start your fantastic relationship with them.

  3. Practice Self-Control. In a heated conversation, take a deep breath, step back, and disengage. Make an effort to remain calm and gentle. 

  4. Simplify what you will prepare during family gatherings. Understand your limits. You don't need to please every person you invite to these gatherings. Remember, you cannot please everyone. 

Gift Buying. If you love to shop, gift buying might be fun for you. However, for many, this causes much stress. Just imagine the busy, crowded store, the long line, and the money (that maybe you don't have) to spend on presents.

How can you reduce, if not turn off, stress switch with gift giving? Here are some steps you can take.

*Simplify gift-giving. Stop obsessing about finding the perfect gift for your loved ones. I remember going to the mall to figure out what my family members, friends, and co-workers want for Christmas. It takes all the fun out of shopping. Finding the perfect gift can be daunting because what we think is perfect may not be perfect for them. Just remember that people are generally appreciative of whatever gift they receive.

You can also give gifts that can benefit the wellness and mental well-being of your friends and loved ones. The book, Finding Your Lost Self is a perfect gift for someone you know who may need to develop a love for themselves. 

*Save time and money by skipping the wrapping with your creativity! You can give gift cards or coupons like a free night of babysitting, one day of yard work, or other unique things.

*Shop online. Shopping online will save you time and money because there might be special offers or sales, and you can compare the prices of the items you want. Some also have free delivery. You can also escape the noisy, busy malls and long lines when you shop online.

*Shop when it is not peak hour. If you prefer to go to a physical store to shop, try to go early or later in the day when the store is not so busy to avoid crowds and long lines.

Coping with Loss or Loneliness. For many people, losing someone during the holidays can be very painful and sad. For many reasons, the Christmas season will intensify that feeling of loneliness, especially when you are alone. This is the season to be with your loved ones, but it will become the saddest time of the year when they are not there.

I can still recall my first Christmas in the United States without my family. It was so lonely and sad. I felt so alone even if my husband was with me. I missed my parents and siblings so much and how we celebrate Christmas in the Philippines.

How can you cope with loss or loneliness during the holiday season?

  1. Spend Christmas with your friends you trust and love to be around. You can invite friends over to your place, you can go to their place, or use the power of technology. Connect with your loved ones using video calls.

  2. Help Others. You can go out and volunteer. During the Holidays, there are a lot of places that need volunteers to help them feed families who are in need. Ask where and how you can help in your local community.

  3. Express Gratitude. Remember your loved ones that you lost, those who passed on to another life, or who left you. Recall how they made you feel better and what you learned from them, honor them, and say gratitude.

There are several effective ways to overcome stress during the holidays. The key is to determine what's causing your stress so you can plan and reduce its impact on you. Ultimately, you'll see that most of the stress you experience results from your expectations of yourself and your interpretation of events.

Also, we may never forget why we celebrate Christmas- God's most significant expression of love. He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to become human and dwell among us, and died on the cross to save us.

How do you cope with Holiday Stress? Please share in the comment below. 

Is your stress already affecting your relationships and health? We can help. Join our 7-Day from Stress to Peace Challenge.

Remember to love and share this blog when you find it helpful or think someone else will benefit from this message. Please visit to access more of our resources.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, everyone!


Wellness Coach Dolly Oksman

About Dolly

Dolly Tampos Oksman, MA, MAED-SPED, is a Transformational Speaker, Author, Certified Wellness Coach, Special Education Teacher, and Behavior Analyst. She is the Founder and Owner of Love. Heal. Believe. LLC.

Dolly experienced chronic stress that affected her mental and emotional health. However, when she entered the convent to be a missionary nun, she learned the secrets of how to live a fulfilled life with inner peace and joy. Today, she is sharing those secrets with you.

Dolly is on a mission to help you develop a deeper love for yourself and find long-term solutions to stress. Her new book, Finding Your Lost Self, which is also available on AMAZON  and her programs & Services will take you on a step-by-step journey to a happier, healthier, and calmer life with less stress. Please contact Dolly HERE.



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