16 Ways to Have a Stress-Free Holiday Season

The holidays are a time for laughter, joy, and love. However, it often brings a lot of stress. Here are 16 easy ways to have a stress-free holiday season- no matter which holiday you celebrate!

When Chanukkah comes around, I sometimes get super stressed with all the things I have to do and all the memories I want to create for my children. So here are some of the ways to lower that stress just a tiny bit!

1. Set a Budget

You know I was going to start with this one! A lot of holiday stress comes from financial burdens. You can eliminate this by setting a budget. Budgets are so freeing and can help you feel like you have a handle on your life.

Write down each person you want to give a gift to. Then, create a budget that you know you can keep.

If you are incredibly tight on money this year, try thinking of handmade gifts. Of course, service gifts go a long way as well and will let people know how much you love them. But, of course, you can always skip the gifts altogether!

2. Decorate

Decorating your house for the holidays always helps to keep the joy and reduce stress. Find decorations that genuinely make you happy. Don’t let anyone else’s negativity keep you away from whatever cheesy decorations make you happy. I love my Channukah towels and will display them proudly!

The winter blues can come in at any time and will only increase your stress.  Having dead plants and trees outside can also trigger some seasonal depression. One way to help this is to over decorate. Get some fake plants if you need to. Do whatever you can to bring life to your home to help combat that sadness and stress. Buy some cut flowers to put on your table and liven up the room.

3. Self-Care

We could all use a little more self-care, especially during the holiday season. So often, we are so focused on our to-do lists we forget to take care of ourselves, but you can’t pour from an empty cup!

So go out and pamper yourself; you deserve it! Schedule in time for yourself, so you don’t forget. It is and should always be a priority. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to take care of yourself: try some of these DIY Spa Products and enjoy!

4. Know Your Limits

This one is hard! You know yourself best. Before things get too hectic, write out your limits, and then stick to them. Your family and kids will be ok if you don’t do everything on the bucket list or do every single tradition, every single time.

Knowing your limits actually will empower you! It’ll help you not get burnt out and help keep the happy holiday spirit. Doing something resentfully will not help anyone!

5. Learn Something New

Because the holidays are so stressful, make sure to do something fun and learn something new. Learning something new helps you to break free from the stress that will eventually come.

Find the right time to go and explore a new hobby. Maybe it’ll turn into some unique homemade gifts or give you a new talent you always wanted. In addition, exploring your creative sides will help you feel better about yourself.

6. Volunteer

Giving service helps take burdens off yourself. When you volunteer or help those in need, it brings peace and joy to your heart you can’t find anywhere else.

There are so many opportunities to volunteer, especially during the holidays. Here are a few ways to volunteer this year:

  • Toys for Tots
  • Gift Wrapping
  • Food Banks

Don’t forget to share your wealth with others and help people in need- charity is the best way to spend your money!

7. Plan Ahead

Planning ahead is a crucial yet straightforward habit to keep during the holidays. When you plan everything early on, you can slowly get things done on your list.

Get started on buying or making your presents extra early, so you aren’t in a rush. Plan out what meals you’ll be making and buy ahead of time.

Getting things done earlier will help ease the stress the week before your holiday as you are already prepared and ready to go! Then you can just enjoy being with family and loved ones.

8. Family Support

Don’t be shy! Enlist family support to get you through this!  Use all the help you can get. You do not have to do everything alone.

Maybe that’s calling your loved ones for a chat or inviting them to make the meal with you. Do what you need to do so you don’t feel the weight of the holidays all on your shoulders.

9. Keep Routines Consistent

I know this can be a challenge during the holidays, but it will really make a difference. Stick to your regular schedules as best as possible, especially with your children.

Try to get up and go to bed at relatively the same time each day. Eat your daily meals consistently at the same time and so on. This will help your body keep its stress levels low and consistent with your regular routine. This may mean losing out on some activities or parties, but it’s important to prioritize so you can enjoy the things you want to enjoy!

10. Meditate and Practice Mindfulness

Meditation and mindfulness are perfect ways to help lower your stress every single day. If you are just beginning, try for just five minutes every day. Then, you can slowly work your way up.

Focus on your breathing and try to tune everything else out. If you have thoughts about things you have to do, allow them, and return to focusing on your breath.

There are so many free apps or videos for different guided meditations to try!

11. Journaling

Journaling is a great way to release our tension and stress healthily. Many types of journals will help lower your stress.

A gratitude journal can help you be happier in your daily life as you focus on the good each day. Record at least one thing you are grateful for each day.

A sleep journal will also be beneficial. Before you go to sleep, write down every thought you have and your every going to-do list. This releases all the worries and stress on paper and will help you go to sleep.

Simply writing out what you did each day and things that bothered you can also help you release the negative emotions you’ve built up.

12. Get Enough Sleep

I know it’s hard to get enough sleep without holiday stress, but it is crucial. Sleep and stress correlate very closely. The less sleep you get, the more stress you will have.

Try to go to bed as early as you can. Reduce screen time before sleeping to help your body. Maintain your circadian rhythm as much as possible to help your body naturally rest. Use these tips to make sure you are getting the best rest you can!

13. Art Therapy

Creating art is a great (and free) form of therapy! Watercolor, paint, or create just about anything.

As children and adults paint, they will naturally release their emotions as they draw. You can even create your cards by doing this!

14. Gratitude

Expressing gratitude is one of the best ways to reduce stress around the holidays.

Ensure you remain grateful each day, no matter how stressful things get. You can share your gratitude in a journal like mentioned above, share it with your family as you sit around the dinner table or on social media. The options are pretty endless!

15. Stay Healthy

This time of year can be super stressful, but don’t forget to eat and drink healthy foods! That chocolate and alcohol may be tempting but make sure you balance it out with enough veggies, water, and other healthy meals and snacks.

16. Exercise!

I hate exercising, but once I do it, I remember why it’s so important. Of course, it is excellent for you, but I also always feel so much more relaxed and energized once I exercise. So even if it’s only a few minutes a day, try to get an exercise routine going. It can be a class, a video, or just a brisk walk- anything that gets your body moving will be a huge help!


Try to do these 16 things as often as possible to help you lower your stress this holiday season! Bring the joy and relaxation back to your holidays!


Hi! I am a millennial mom with a passion for personal finance. I have always been “into” personal finance but got inspired to start my blog after a period of extended unemployment. That experience really changed the way I viewed my relationship with money and the importance of accessible personal finance education.

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