6 Ways to Less Stress During the Holidays

Written by Starla, Contributing Writer

The holiday season often brings along with it unwanted stress. 

Christmas parties, holiday shopping, cooking, cleaning, entertaining, children Christmas play practices, extended time with family, limited funds and everything else wrapped around the holidays may cause unwanted stress.

However, following the tips below may help us manage this stress and keep our holidays joyful.

Managing your stress during the holidays.

6 Ways to Less Stress During the Holidays:

#1 Plan ahead

Do not procrastinate. Get as many tasks done as early as possible. Write out a to-do list and beside each item on your list – write the date/time that it needs to be done by. Put your list on your fridge, in your calendar or anywhere you will see it and will be reminded to get stuff done. 

#2 Recruit help

Are you hosting and cooking the holiday meal for your entire family this year? Do not let anyone, including yourself, make you feel like you have to be superwoman and unless you thoroughly enjoy, want and can peacefully handle that huge responsibility get your family members to help you by bringing a drink, side dish and/or desert to the holiday meal. Pick one or two things that you can shine at and do them well. Let everyone else help by bringing an item to share. 

#3 Do not set your expectations too high

Most of us love and dream of the picture perfect home, decor, family and food when planning the holiday, but when hiccups in our plans happen (and they will) it may cause our high expectations to come crashing down on us. Which may cause unneeded stress. Set realistic goals for yourself, your family and the holidays. 

#4 Get plenty of rest

Pretty much the entire month of December you’ll find bumper to bumper traffic. Everyone is out shopping for presents and supplies for the upcoming holiday. Do not shop till you drop! Give yourself a time out. Take a break. You need time to rest, re-group and re-energize. Getting plenty of rest will help you maintain your stress at a balanced level. 

#5 Stick to a budget you can afford

Make out a budget and stick to it. Don’t let family, neighbors, nor friends make you feel like you must have or spend a certain amount of money to have a good Christmas. Don’t fall into the trap that your kids will not be happy without that $500 item on their wishlist. Although anyone would enjoy to be lavished upon during the holidays, Christmas is not about the gifts. It’s about being with those that you love and spending time together. If you are using credit cards to purchase everything, please remember that come January you will get that hefty bill in the mail. Communicate with your family before hand and try to get everyone on board with a family Christmas budget. 

#6 Don’t take yourself too seriously

Lighten up. Laugh. Go with the flow. Be flexible. Give yourself and others grace and love. Remember what the holidays are really about. 

Bonus tip: Pray. Put God first in your life. Remember, He has you.

 “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” John 14:27

Do you have any tips on enjoying the holidays with less stress? 

About Starla

Starla Jimenez is a homeschool mom of two kiddos and has been married for 15 years to the love of her life. Her goal is to encourage women in their walk with God. On her blog, starlajimenez.com, she shares about her life adventures, bible devotions and family fun. She volunteers as the Girls Ministry coordinator and helps, behind the scenes, with Women's Ministry at her local church. You can follow her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. 


  1. Great tips, Starla! I especially love #6, and plan to ramp that up in my life beginning today!

    We dropped a lot of our “regular” Christmas activities this year, and although It’s been a little disappointing, it has taken a lot of the pressure off. I decided a few weeks ago that Christmas would come whether we did all of those things or not. It’s been much better without the stress.

    Thanks for sharing.

  2. Great tips Starla! I especially like #3… I sometimes forget that one and end up being frustrated or disappointed. Thanks for the reminder! Merry Christmas!

    • Hi Hilda! Yes, setting our expectations too high trips us all up. Hope your Christmas was beautiful!