Tips for a Less Stressful Holiday Season

Woman journaling to reduce holiday stress

Despite the joys of the holiday season, some people find it difficult to enjoy it. Getting together with friends and family often leaves us nostalgic for what we don’t have or wish we had, and family dynamics can add tension and conflict to the mix. While the holiday season can be a difficult time for some, there are still many ways to experience happiness. In this article we will discuss tips for a less stressful holiday season and ways to make it joyful.

It can be easy to compare experiences, especially in the age of social media – a feed filled with smiling people showcasing amazing adventures and seemingly perfect lives. But we do not need to wallow in loneliness, jealousy, or self-doubt. Instead, we can use these practical ways to experience satisfaction and joy throughout the holidays, regardless of your relationship status or family situation. These tips can help you appreciate who we are and have realistic, positive expectations of where we’re going.

Five Ways to Experience Joy

1. Journal your gratitude. Focusing on negative events is much easier than focusing on positive ones.

 As we learn to be grateful for all that we have, our lives seem to fill with precious gems we didn’t even realize we had overlooked. Writing down a few things you’re grateful for each day will help you feel more joy and satisfaction during the holiday season. You may find this challenging at first, but it will become easier with practice. Simple things like “it’s a beautiful day outside” or “coffee with a friend” can be good reasons to be grateful. Your days will be more enjoyable if you practice gratitude – and with your journal, you can revisit past entries to see what you’ve enjoyed. Especially during the chaotic holiday season, this can be a very rewarding practice.

2. Take care of yourself. It can improve your self-esteem and outlook when you care for yourself. 

Identify ways that you can treat yourself kindly and make a list. You may put something as ordinary as getting enough sleep and eating healthy meals on your list, or it may be more special, such as going out and doing something you enjoy. Having a list of self-care activities will facilitate implementing them quickly when you have some spare time or are feeling overwhelmed. There is no selfishness in self-care. It is the practice of showing yourself compassion and respect to maintain a healthy physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual state which will aid in your recovery. 

3. Be mindful. Inevitably, you may encounter situations in which you feel frustrated, tense, or irritated. 

Mindfulness will bring you back to the present when you find yourself caught up in a wave of feelings. Does feeling lonely or anxious make you want to cope in unhealthy ways? Take a moment to connect with your surroundings. Be mindful of your breathing and inhale deeply. Keep your eyes, ears, and nose open, mindfully observing everything you see, hear and smell. You can end the negative train of thought by choosing to be mindful of the present. Be prepared for the holiday season by practicing mindfulness and meditation prior to entering into the craziness.

4. Take care of what you do with your time and be intentional about it.

You probably know certain situations and people that trigger you during the holiday season and at parties. While it will be impossible to avoid stressful situations completely, you can make an effort to spend your time in places where you won’t be anxious or have to exert too much willpower. Invest your strength in the moments when it will be most necessary. Consider choosing an alternative event or making plans with a friend to leave early if you know you may be tempted to drink at a party. Remember, your recovery comes first, above all. When certain family members make you angry, think about topics to talk about ahead of time, and ensure you’re with others or have an easy way to get out. Take time out for fun with people you can trust in stress-free environments. To make tough times easier to bear, make sure you have fun opportunities to look forward to.

5. Don’t be afraid to be uncomfortable.

Even if you’ve followed all the tips above, if you feel like you’re going to be overpowered by uncomfortable feelings – like loneliness, sadness, anger, or jealousy – you can choose to embrace them. You are stronger than your feelings. No matter how bad things get, you are still in control. When you embrace and accept your feelings, they will no longer have power over you. When you become more aware of your emotions, you will find that you have more control over them than you thought. Being comfortable with discomfort is a valuable skill, but it takes practice. 

You can seek help in implementing these tips by asking your friends, your therapist, or others in your 12-Step community.

Take a moment to vent with a friend when you’re stuck on something, followed by an exercise where you express gratitude. Embrace quotes that inspire you and place them in places where you’ll see them often. Set reminders every day for mindful breathing. Better experiences and increased resilience can come from small things. Achieving mental and emotional well-being involves sharing frustrations and not holding things in. Be open to getting help from people you trust.


Call today!

We are ready to help your family begin its journey to recovery. Please call anytime at 866-856-0801 .

Windhaven House - Dallas Sober Living for Women - Extended Care Services - Extended Care Program - Best Sober Living in Dallas for Women - 12 step immersion - fun in sobriety - transitional sober living dallas texasContact us for more information about how Windhaven House can help you achieve and maintain lasting sobriety. Call 866-856-0801 or send us a message now.


Related Posts

Do You Have Questions?

Send Us A Message