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How to Stay Sane this Holiday Season

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Does the busy holiday season have you feeling more frazzled than festive? More Scrooge-like than Santa? The period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day can be the most hectic of the whole year with parties, shopping, visiting family, baking, decorating and, in the midst of all the celebrations, fitting in work, school and our normal day to day activities. It’s no wonder many of us are left feeling tired, grouchy, overworked and simply stressed out!

To aid in alleviating holiday stress, we have compiled a list of five things that will help you stay sane during the festive season.

Make a List

With so much to keep track of it can be helpful to compile a list of things that have to get done in time for the holidays. In fact, you may find yourself compiling several lists such as cards to mail, gifts to buy, grocery lists, meal planning and to do’s. Begin by sitting down with a blank piece of paper and simply brainstorm everything you have going on in your head that needs to get done. When you are finished you can categorize what you have written down, delete things that can wait until after the holidays and add anything you may have forgotten.

Aim for Normal

Not every family is going to look as though they just stepped out of a Norman Rockwell painting and not everyone’s holiday looks Instagram perfect. Aim for normal and toss out any ridiculous notions of wanting everything to look picture perfect. It’s important to remember that most of the photos posted on social media are carefully curated and not a spontaneous snapshot of how things really look. During the holidays homes are messy, decorations may look more haphazard than artistic, children are rambunctious and let’s face it, trying to gather the troops to snap that perfect family holiday portrait is a mission in and of itself. Some of the best memories we have to look back on are when the best made plans go comically awry.


More and more studies show meditation can help alleviate stress and anxiety and put us in a better frame of mind. Fortunately there are a myriad of apps available to help guide the novice meditator. We love Calm and Headspace for helping quiet our overactive minds, teach calming breathing techniques and guide us to a more peaceful sleep.

I Just Want To Be Alone

All of that socializing and shopping can be exhausting, especially if you are an introvert. Even the most extrovert of personalities can benefit from some alone time. Look after yourself and make sure you schedule in time to just be alone. Whether than means curling up with a good book, watching a great holiday movie, taking a walk or doing something else you love, taking a break during the busy pace of the holidays can help.

Ask for Help

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Sounds easy right?! 😉 It may sound simple, but giving up control, even on small tasks can be a big challenge. We like to feel in complete control of our surroundings. The holiday season tends to make that goal even more unrealistic than it already is! Here’s why… . If you struggle with stress or anxiety, feeling in control of external things often feels momentarily satisfying because of how out of control we may feel internally. But having control over external things is just a bandaid and an illusion. This year, challenge yourself to delegate or ask for help with one task. Pause, take a deep breath, checkin with yourself, with what you can realistically handle (and maybe even have some energy left over), and let one thing go. Allow yourself to feel free from being invested in the outcome of that one thing. Just enjoy the process. You got this! . #survivingtheholidays #thanksgiving #delegate #askforhelp #holidays #holidayseason #holidaysurvivalguide #selfcare #itsoktoaskforhelp #pause #takeabreak #takeabreath #valueyourself #bekindtoyourself #letitgo #tuesdaymotivation #tuesday #mindfulness #mindfulliving #bemindful #yougotthis #coatscounseling

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So you’re overwhelmed and piled too much on your plate? Don’t be afraid to ask for help! We tend overestimate how much we can physically and mentally take on during the holidays and that can leave us testy, stressed and just not nice to be around. If you are hosting holiday celebrations at your house why not hire a cleaner to come in. Ask a friend or relative to babysit so you can shop in peace. Buy baked goods instead of cooking them at home, or organize a swap shop where everyone brings a baked good to share. Pay a teenager to wrap gifts for you. Most importantly, it’s okay to say “no” to things people ask you to do!


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