5 Ways to Reduce Holiday Headaches

5 Ways to Reduce Holiday Headaches

The holiday stress is real: relieve it!

It’s no secret that with all the holiday goodness – gifts, family, food – comes, inevitably, a copious amount of stress. Gifts cost money, there’s a ticking clock in your head counting down to the holidays, family can be less than easy to deal with at times, and not to mention all the parties and get-togethers you’ll have to prepare food for, bring a gift to, or just show up in general.

Whew, just writing that got me in a bit of a tizzy. Luckily, there are many ways to handle stress and de-stress from all the holiday overload. It should be an enjoyable and happy time of year, not a headache. Growing up, I feel like my mother spent more time planning, preparing, and executing the “perfect” holiday schedule that she never got to truly enjoy it herself. She deserves to unwind after a hectic holiday, and so do you!

Here are 5 ways to manage and reduce stress this holiday season.


This is key. Holidays are not cheap, that’s a given. What I try to do each year, whether it’s a gift exchange with friends/coworkers or within my immediate family, is agree upon a price cap that’s reasonable for everyone. Then you can keep track of exactly how much you’re spending and there’s no guilt during the gift exchange process.

It’s OK to Say “No”:

There’s a lot going on during this time of year. Parties, dinners, outings. Don’t be afraid to say no. If your friends are really your friends, they’ll understand. It’s not possible to be everywhere all the time, and nobody expects you to be.

If you need a night to stay in, get your ducks in a row, and binge-watch Hallmark movies while making cookies or taking a bath, then so be it! You’re allowed to take care of yourself, otherwise, you’re going to go crazy.

Plan and prioritize your events. Making time for family is, of course, important, so if you need to say no to a friend dinner or miss out on a brunch to spend time with your family instead – even if that means just sitting around the house together – make that choice. There’s no replacement for family time.

If you have three parties in one night, don’t kill yourself trying to go to each of them for two hours apiece. Friends change and how often you see them varies on what everyone has going on in their life at the time, so though you might miss out on one party this year, there will always be more opportunities.

Don’t limit your time somewhere, you’ll be watching the clock the entire time instead of genuinely enjoying yourself.

Make Time for Yourself:

If you have enough time off of work or school to consider it a ‘vacation’, make sure it is just that. Do one thing each day that is just for yourself, something that makes it feel like you’re on a break from the daily grind.

Make yourself a nice breakfast and eat it in bed, go to lunch with your loved ones, go to the spa. While the holidays aren’t technically about YOU, there’s no shame in taking advantage of your time off to relax between the madness.

Acrylic Rectangular Serving Tray with Handles

Make a List:

Checking off those boxes/crossing out a completed task feels GOOD. Make a list of everything you want and need to get done. Even minor tasks, that way you’re feeling accomplished and once you see how many things you’ve crossed off your list, you’ll start to feel motivated and organized.

Handle one individual task at a time, and before you know it you will have everything done. Without a list, you’ll be scrambling to remember what you meant to do yesterday or who you’re supposed to be getting a gift for, etc. causing unnecessary added stress.

This might go without saying, but make a list for what party food and presents you need to purchase, who they’re for and how much they cost. You won’t get home and have the, “how much did I just spend?!” realization or have to go back out three more times because you keep forgetting an item or two.


When making your list, doing your shopping, attending/hosting your parties, delegating time with loved ones: PRIORITIZE. Get tasks out of the way that you dread, first. Maybe even before your vacation officially begins.

Putting up bigger, bulkier decorations or gift shopping/wrapping or grocery shopping, whatever your thing is. Do it when you get home from work or school the night before vacation day number one. On the second day, complete another task that isn’t exactly your favorite. In doing so, you’ll leave more time for yourself to do the things you enjoy, and you can relax once those daunting errands are completed and out of the way.

You won’t be with family or friends thinking about how you’re dreading doing this or that as soon as the get together ends, you’ll be embracing the moments and the memories in the making.

Make the most of the holiday season this year by not only enjoying all of the festivities and time spent with the most important people in your life, but also setting a little time apart for yourself and to make sure you’re not getting overwhelmed, burnt out, or just overall grumpy! This is a time of happiness and celebration, not stress and anxiety. Nobody likes a Scrooge!

Shop the Look: Use these decorative canisters from mDesign to create an easy and fabulous center piece. Decorations for your holiday dinner? Check!

Shaylee Dillen is a SEO Content Writer at mDesign
and considers herself a caffeine and cosmetics fanatic!

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Posted: Dec 4, 2019