Friday, December 11, 2009

7 Tips for Less Stress This Holiday Season

Yesterday I was interviewed by a reporter for the Atlanta Journal Constitution.  She's writing an article on holiday stress and how to manage it.  I'll be sure to post the article when it comes out, but wanted to pass along my tips now since the print date isn't until 12/22/09.

I ask each of my wellness coaching clients how they manage stress.  Most give me a blank stare. But here's the reality:  if you don't have positive stress coping skills, you will always find some way to cope, and it might just be negative (for example: eating too much or too little, drinking alcohol, smoking, over-exercising, excessive shopping, or watching too much t.v.)

When the holidays hit- and there are holiday cards to send, extra food to make, presents to buy, too many social engagements, and more time spent with family- already stressed people are even more overwhelmed.  I encourage all my clients to incorporate nourishing rituals (stress relievers that fill your spirit and calm your mind) into their daily lives.  Nourishing rituals will lower your everyday stress levels and help you to feel balanced and centered.

Here are a 6 additional tips:

  • Use time waiting in line (at the post office, at the mall) to practice deep breathing.  Count slowly to four with each inhale and exhale.  And feel like a stress management star because you are feeling calm while all the other people in line are feeling agitated!
  • Break holiday traditions that seem out-dated.  Don't continue with traditions you dread.  Create new traditions that honor your current financial situation and current values.
  • Simplify your holiday meals and decorations.  Do what feels right for you.
  • Simplify your gift giving: Consider writing a love letter, a poem, a list of reasons why you love the person, or a list of your favorite memories together.  Make a handmade ornament or frame a favorite photo of the two of you together.  (My best friend and her husband only exchange ornaments each year for Christmas.  It's a low stress tradition but it's super meaningful each year when they decorate their tree.)
  • Say no.  It's okay to turn down invitations to social events.  Just say you have another obligation (which happens to be an obligation to your self-care.)
  • Write down your blessings.  I am always amazed at the healing (and calming) power of listing all the people, things, and events I'm thankful to have in my life.  Nothing can shift your energy like a gratitude list.
Best wishes for a happy and stress-less holiday season!

Addendum:  Click here for the article.


  1. Lovely post, Kathianne! Cannot wait to see you tomorrow night.

  2. Any tips for keeping glitter glue on a christmas ornament once it dries? It stays on but can come off pretty easily if I use my finger nail.

  3. Angie, Such is the nature of glitter! It is all over my house no matter how much I clean (which I confess is not often enough) and all over my husband's face (seemingly everyday) when he leaves for work. Glitter glue is a good option. Less mess and less loss of glitter. If you are using real glitter, be sure you are using enough glue. When you pack your ornaments after the holidays, use plenty of tissue paper so they don't rub together in storage. Kathianne
    PS: Show us some photos of your creations!