Don’t let the Holidays Stress You Out

Updated: Oct 25, 2019

Holiday season is quickly approaching. And we all know “it’s the most wonderful time of

the year”. Are you ready for it?

There’s the holiday cheer, the Thanksgiving gratitude, the holiday parties, the beautiful

decorations, an increase in generosity, and the celebration of human geniality.

But there’s also the consumerism, awkward family and work gatherings, discordance,

endless lists, Scrooges, and so many expectations.

The holidays certainly have potential, but if you’re not staying aware, holiday stress

becomes a Thanksgiving guest who stays through New Year’s. Staying mindful of what

causes holiday stress is important in combating it,

Prioritize managing the upcoming holiday stress so you can feel at ease, stay sane, and

just maybe, bask in the most epic holiday season ever.

Here are 4 things to stop doing to help you manage:

1) Stop Should’ing.

Fill in the blanks.

The holidays should be _________.

I should ______ during the holidays.

People should not _____ during the holidays.

Anytime the holidays don’t fulfill what you have deemed they “should” fulfill, you

likely feel robbed, you feel inadequate, you feel empty. That definitely adds to


Should’s (and should not’s) are a commonly used thinking error. Should’s lack

compassion, create black and white thinking (another thinking error), create

shame, and contribute to dissatisfaction in life.

Instead of saying “should”, instead say “it would be nice if…”.

Try the fill in the blanks again.

It would be nice for the holidays to be ________.

It would be nice if I _____ during the holidays.

It would be nice if people did not ______ during the holidays.

No more expectations. No more thinking things as successes or failures.

Instead, there’s a spectrum of possibility which allows for mistakes, acceptance,

and flexibility.

2) Stop Putting Food on a Naughty or Nice List.

So you probably aren’t literally making a list like Santa, but it’s a norm in our

society to put morality on food (good food vs. bad food, junk vs. healthy, etc.).

Putting morality on food creates guilt. If you deprive yourself because you’re

“trying to be good”, you are very likely to overindulge later. Overindulgence leads

to guilt, self-loathing, and holiday stress.

Instead of depriving yourself because you want to be “good”, allow yourself to

indulge in holiday treats here and there. If you allow for yourself to consume

foods in balance, you will not feel deprived, you will have a better relationship

with food, and you will enjoy those holiday pies, cookies, and treats without

feeling guilt and without overindulging.

3) Don’t be a Holiday-zilla

In planning for the holidays, you might be thinking about the family dinners, the

gifts, the events, the parties, the traditions, and so much more. The list of to-do’s

can be endless. And you have envisioned how perfect and fabulous everything

on the to-do list can be!

Sure, some