Finding Time for Fitness in a Busy Life

How to Manage Holiday Stress

How to Manage Holiday Stress

Holiday stress is something no one wants to deal with. Not only can it affect Moms and Dads (or any adults), it can affect children as well. I do a few things to make sure I don’t get stressed out and the kids don’t get stressed out. One of the biggest stressors around the holidays is traveling. Either sitting in a car for a long time or waiting at the airport, the stress seems to be there! Other stressors can include financial stress and just getting out of a routine.


Here are a few things I do to try manage holiday stress:

  • Plan Ahead
  • Stay on regular routine
  • Self care


Plan Ahead

Plan ahead as far as you can. Make lists. Have set what family and friends are bringing over to eat and drink if you are throwing a party. Find recipes early. Shop for gifts as early as possible. Planning ahead also has to do with budgeting. Financial stress seems to always hit around the holidays. For a lot of people, their holiday stress is all financial. You want to spoil your family, you just have to stick with the budget you give yourself.

I always want to spoil my kids with presents. Jacob and I come up with a holiday budget amount per person that we have to buy for. And I try my HARDEST to stick to it. Sometimes I get the perfect gift for less than the budget for that person which is great! This year I bought my parents some great gifts and I found them for an awesome deal at a local craft fair. I love craft fairs, probably because I am supporting someone local to me AND because I wish I was THAT CREATIVE! Haha!


Stay on Regular Routine

Staying on your regular routine as much as possible can also help with holiday stress. With traveling and visiting family and friends, you can get off your routine pretty easily. You are eating differently. And you are sleeping in a new place. Which can lead to going to bed at different times. So, trying to stay with as much of a routine as possible will not only help your stress levels but it will also be helpful for your kids.

My kids like structure and when we are not at home, sometimes that goes away. I try to eat around the same times (as best as I can… because we eat dinner by 5:30pm when we are home) and put them to bed at the same time. Our family has gotten used to us putting the kids down early that it doesn’t phase them, which is great. Along with routine, I make sure the kids bring something from home so they are comforted. That may be a blanket or stuffed animal they can cuddle with.


Self Care

Self care ideas:

  • take a bath
  • read a book
  • close the door for some QUIET time
  • (Of course) workout!

Self care is different for everyone but it can definitely help with holiday stress. I LOVE to workout (bet you didn’t know that… ) and it is very much therapeutic for me. Getting a nice quick, HIIT workout in helps reduce any stress that I feel. If I already worked out for the day and I still feel stressed.

I like to take a step back. If I can take a quiet moment to myself to read a book or just sit behind a closed door, I will take it. I get anxious around crowds for a while. Since I am not good at small talk, I usually end up talking to people I know ONLY. Its something that I want to work on, I just need more time.

If you are able to socialize with friends and family, take this time to laugh and joke about something to take your mind off the stress. Laughter is the best medicine… right? Or take a moment to read your favorite Christmas story to your children!

Another great self care option would be taking a bath. Baths help to relieve stress and physical pains as well. So go ahead, add the bubbles and bring your book, this is your “me time”!




How do you manage stress around the holidays?

40 thoughts on “How to Manage Holiday Stress”

  • These are great tips! It’s hard to think of yourself during the holidays because we have so many other things to think about. Thank you for this!

  • Gosh, yes holiday stress is at full force this year! So much going on. I love all these tips. Definitely going to try them out this holiday season!

  • How to manage holiday stress is a great topic! Last year things got so hectic that I promised myself that the following year I would do the bulk of my holiday shopping before Thanksgiving. Although I still have a lot of gifts to find, I feel like the task is now much more manageable

  • 100% yes to planning ahead! Even for little things, like how many rolls of wrapping paper you need. Having lists and using my planners around the holidays really does take some of the weight off my shoulders.

  • Great article with so many truths. We need to take a step back and remember what the holidays are really all about. Family and love and not just gifts.

  • Staying on a routine is so important for my family. My boys thrive on their schedules and knowing what to expect. We try to stick to a similar schedule even during school breaks when we can.

  • Holiday stress is definitely unnecessary. I really love that you emphasize self care, that is one of the most important things that you can do to improve wellbeing.

  • Thanks for sharing. I am with you, there is no stress that reading a book can’t take away from me. I am just enjoying the holiday and take it one day at a time.

  • I have recently been dealing with a lot of stress and I think these tips will really help me out. Thank you.

  • Wow what a great tips. This holiday season it took a lot of stress because for the budgeting for Christmas. but Christmas is love and giving great thoughts.

  • These are such great suggestions! The holidays are supposed to be joyful and sometimes it’s easy to get overwhelmed. For me, I find lost making and planning life savers. Also chocolate. 😀

  • I’ve been working on this for a long time! My husband works in the shipping industry and is a tad bit busy this time of year. I’m usually left to pull off all this holiday magic by myself. Instead of enjoying my time with my family over the holidays, I’m usually pretty easily triggered and not very fun to be around. I’m getting better and practicing mindfulness as much as I can. I also drink a lot of wine and take baths. Instead of bubbles, I use Epsom salts and essential oils to ease my tired body and stressed out brain.

  • Great tips! That is so true about getting stressed when your routines are off. It can be hard when you are traveling to different time zones especially.

  • Sometimes, the holidays really just takes us aback probably because there’s a lot of planning involved.
    But we just have to remember that it’s all about spending time with family.

  • these are all great suggestions. self care is super important, especially around the holidays. its really easy to slip into depression or some ball of stress during this time of year. I think its the lack of sunshine that brings this looming cloud of doom over everyone

  • These are all excellent tips. It’s certainly easy to get so caught up in the hustle and bustle that you forget to take time out to enjoy the season. I’m going to share this great article on my FB page right now!

  • These are wonderful tips. Both hubby and I hate it when stress starts as it causes us to rush and forget things. Holidays can be overwhelming but taking the time to follow these tips you shared will make it easy to handle.

  • Planning ahead helps a lot! I have really been enjoying regular baths to relax in the evening – such a great stress reliever.

  • I absolutely love these tips! I have definitely been slacking off on the self care part and this is a good reminder to spend a little bit of time focusing on yourself even when it feels like everything needs to be about other people!


  • I love traveling over the holiday. It forces me to prepare way ahead of time for Christmas, so that stressor is not there. Also, I get to spend time with my kids and husband, even if it is sitting in the car or waiting at the airport. You are so right about keeping the normal routine, particularly for me with fitness and quiet time. So important for everyone’s happiness!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Disclaimer: I am a NASM certified personal trainer. I can give advice on what workouts would be great for just about anybody. If you have any medical conditions, please check with your doctor before starting a workout routine.

I may share food ideas and recipes, but I am not a licensed dietitian. I can show you foods I love to eat which may have helped me achieve my weight loss and health goals. I cannot provide meal plans.


Enjoy my site? Please spread the word! :)