The Christmas season is full of joy and holiday experiences – but for many of us, it can also be full of depression, anxiety, and stress. Christmas can be magical – but it can also be complicated , and whether you love it or dread it, the season tends to add a lot to your plate. So today, we’re sharing a few ways to reduce holiday stress so you can actually ENJOY this special time of year. Here’s to a low-stress Christmas season. Thanks for being here.

Things to Remember From Today’s Episode:

Do what works for YOU. The holidays are not about comparison or living up to crazy expectations. For some, indulging in all the holiday things brings them great joy and reduces their stress. For others, it feels like pressure or a weight and it adds to their stress. And right now, we all need to be taking care of our mental and emotional health – so do what works for YOU.

PSA – There is no “right” or “wrong” when it comes to celebrating Christmas. Set up your tree in March. Never set it up at all. It’s actually okay to do what makes you happy! (Even if people are grinchy at you about it.) Also – don’t be that grinch! Let people do what they want with their tree and their holiday. (The end.)

Don’t do ANYTHING just because someone else is doing it. Comparison and “keeping up” with anyone is never a reason to do anything. (And it will only add more stress.)

Acknowledge your feelings about Christmas. It is okay to not be “super happy” at Christmas. It’s okay to not like Christmas at all. (The opposite is true as well.)

Watch Your “Excess”: Christmas time is often a time for excess. So many of us eat too much, spend too much, accumulate too much or even drink too much. And in most cases, excess ADDS to your stress, as you end up dealing with the consequences of over-doing it (ie – debt, weight gain, etc.)

Hey introverts! Remember to schedule your downtime during the holidays! There tends to be a LOT more on my calendar in December. And even though I love it – it’s important to make sure to have some quiet, people-free time.

My General Stress Questions: Have you eaten today? Real food? Have you had any water today? Are you getting enough sleep? Are you getting any fresh air? Have you done something you ENJOY today?

Don’t Shy Away From Shortcuts! You do not have to do all the things. For real. You don’t.

Let go of your belief that you can make Christmas “perfect.” (Perfect isn’t a thing.)

Ask for help. (Seriously, it’s okay.)

Things Mentioned on Today’s Podcast:

Would you like to take the Holmes-Rahe Stress Inventory test? Click HERE. (And yes, prison and Christmas are both actually on it! I wasn’t making that up!)