It’s the most wonderful time of the year!  There’s no pressure in those lyrics, right?  I don’t know about you but things around the holidays can get pretty stressful for me on an average year.  Adding a global pandemic takes it up a notch or two!  I thought it might be helpful to share the following 6 tips to stress less this holiday season.


Done is better than perfect.

There is this expectation around the holidays that everything has to reach a level of epic perfection. The important thing is not letting the expectations of perfection keep you from enjoying the season.  Complete the traditions that you truly value and bring you joy in the season and let go of what doesn’t serve you.


Simplicity is underrated.

Instead of feeling like you need to decorate every inch of your world with tinsel and bows, display the decorations that mean the most to you.  Perhaps Grandmother’s special centerpiece that was handed down through the generations or ornaments your children made are the items you choose to display. The holidays are about the feel, love, and family.  These are the reasons we celebrate the holidays and not whether we have a Rockefeller tree display in our front yard that truly matters.


Connect with technology

In the world we live in today we have instant access to information and technology.  Zoom, FB, Google all have platforms for us to connect with our loved ones.  So, although gathering in person will be limited we can utilize this technology to virtually bring us together in the same room.

Here are some fun ideas for a virtual gathering:

  1. Have everyone design bingo cards and have a virtual bingo game.
  2. Make a family trivia game complete with virtual prizes.
  3. Kahoot is a game-based learning platform where you can quickly create an online game together.

Another way technology can bring you close is by sending -electronic cards. Electronic greeting cards save you the time and money of actual cards and still allow you to spread holiday cheer. My favorites are animated cards by Jackie Lawson.


Gift Ideas

As far as gift-giving goes, consider giving the people on your list the gift of time or an experience instead of material possession.  I don’t know about you but I don’t need another mug, candle, or bottle of “good smelling lotion” as my mother asked for every year.

I’m at the stage in life where I am trying to reduce what I own. I would far rather have the opportunity to have lunch with a friend or attend an event (once the world opens up again) than have one more item I need to find a place for in my home.


Recognize your signs of stress

Everyone experiences stress differently which makes it important for you to recognize your own signs of stress. If you feel you are starting to get overwhelmed take a moment to just stop.  Acknowledge the stress, pause, and take some time to clear your head.  Take a walk around the neighborhood and look at the holiday lights.  Grab a  cup of tea and flip through a magazine to decrease stress.  You will have a better resolve to enjoy the holidays without anxiety and stress.


A little grace goes a long way

Finally, remember to give yourself some grace. Treating yourself with compassion, the way you would treat a friend or loved one is a great way to reduce stress. You are the only you and deserve to be treated with the love and compassion you give others.  It’s the perfect gift to give yourself this holiday season.

I hope these tips can help you find some balance and space around the holiday season.  Focus on the things that matter most to you and remember to always “take care of you”.  Here’s another quick read to help you reduce stress with mindfulness.

Happy Holidays,


About the Author

Melody Vachal founded RISE UP Care and Wellness to help caregivers develop the skills needed to practice self-care while caring for others.  She is now living and realizing the importance of caregivers caring for themselves.


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