Transformative Thursdays: Tips for a Stress-Free Holiday

The holidays can be so fun, exciting, memorable and relaxing.  But they can also be lonely, sad, busy and stressful all at the same time.  What makes it joyful or lonely?  What makes it exciting or dreadful?  What makes it fun or stressful?  I believe our perspective is what makes the difference.

Sometimes we need to see the holidays through a different lens–a lens filled with gratitude and clarity.  Many times, the more we focus on what others are doing, the less satisfied we become.  The more we watch other people’s lives and the races they are running, the more disillusioned we become.  Then it becomes a competition…who has the biggest Christmas party, who gives their children the most expensive gifts, who cooks the largest holiday meal, who catches all the right sales, whose spouse has the perfect gift, who takes the most elaborate vacation and the list goes on.  Who can keep up with all of that?  Before you know it, you’re feeling stressed, overwhelmed, anxious and “not good enough”.

Learning to run your own race and marching to the beat of your own drum will stifle many of the distractions and noise.  Discover what’s most important to you and focus on that.  Here are a few tips to get you through the holiday season with no stress and lots of joy!

  • Prioritize your money.
  • Make a holiday budget and stick to it.
  • Don’t give in to impulse spending.
  • Teach your children or grandchildren to give to others and that the holidays are not just about them.
  • Participate in family service projects.
  • Invest in experiences together rather than objects that quickly lose their luster.
  • Be cognizant of distractions that make you lose focus of what’s important to you.
  • Learn to say “no” and be comfortable with it.  You don’t have to provide an explanation. No is enough.
  • Remember those less fortunate.  It keeps you humble.
  • Have fun & laugh a lot.
  • Spread joy and holiday cheer in creative small ways.
  • Reach out to others and be a blessing.
  • Meditate on God’s Word and pray a lot.
  • Increase your time spent with family.

What other things can you add to the list to have a stress-free holiday?


~Coletta Jones Patterson

Coletta is an author, life coach, business executive and weekly blogger.  Connect with Coletta at

One thought on “Transformative Thursdays: Tips for a Stress-Free Holiday

  1. I’ll add a few things I value during the holidays:

    Rest, it’s something that we often overlook during this season and it’s so important for physical, mental/emotional and spiritual health.

    Explore your local home front. Those of us who live far away from our families do not always have the money to travel every holiday season. This is a great opportunity to explore things locally that you normally don’t make time for in the normal hustle and bustle of life. I have been known to look for quirky, unusual or off the beaten track experiences near the places I have lived and engage them as a solo or group experience from digging for diamonds to climbing around the Baby Geand Canyon (AKA Palo Duro) to visiting Japanese Internment Memorials. You can create scavenger hunts in your own city and invite friends to join the fun.

    Travel Smart. If you are traveling resist the urge to do too much. There’s little worse than coming back from vacation sick and hoping climates and time zones can do it to you quickly especially if you aren’t getting enough sleep.

    Take pictures and video. One of my most prized possessions is a video of my grandparents during one of the last Christmases we all gathered before my grandfather passed. It was a sweet and precious moment that I can revisit and share with my loved ones.

    Don’t over eat. This is a bad habit we attach to holidays that causes all kinds of unnecessary stress on your body as well as the plumbing systems within your reach. Eat responsibly.


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