Navigating the Holidays with Ease

Tips to manage what can be a stressful time of year.

Article by Krissy Nevero | November 15, 2023

The holidays can be such a wonderful time of year but also can be very stressful. Buying gifts, organizing gatherings, attending events, dealing with family dynamics, and maintaining traditions can all become very overwhelming.

It’s a time of joy blended with challenges. This makes it a great opportunity to be proactive in supporting yourself with stress to improve your well-being and enhance your connections with others during this time.

Understand the Root of the Stress

Before implementing some of the tips that will follow, I encourage you to take some time to understand your sources of stress during the Holidays. Knowing what is worrying or bothering you the most will allow you to be more proactive in mitigating sources of stress rather than dealing with the aftermath.

Grab a journal and take a few moments to reflect. Here are some prompts to get you started:

What are your top stressors this season? Is it financial strain? Are there expectations to create the ‘perfect’ Holiday experience and if so, are they coming from you or from others? Are you under pressure from your family? Are you missing loved ones? Are you trying to stay healthy and anxious about how to stay on track over the holidays?

Whatever the source of your stress, know that it is valid and taking a few minutes to understand it can go a long way.

Set Realistic Expectations

It’s not uncommon to want to do all the things but is it realistic? Consider your main sources of stress and be realistic about what you can and cannot accomplish this Holiday season. In order to avoid burnout and overwhelm, you’ll need to differentiate between what is truly important and what can be scaled down or skipped altogether. For example, if you’re trying to stay on track with your health goals, is it realistic to go to events multiple times a week where you’ll be drinking and staying up late? Perhaps it’s more realistic to attend just one event? Prioritize the things that bring you the most joy, and ensure you have moments for rest and self-care.

Establish Boundaries

Once you’ve set realistic expectations, you need to establish your boundaries, both with yourself and with others. Setting boundaries can be uncomfortable but going beyond your comfortable limits and pushing boundaries due to guilt or feelings of obligation can lead to feelings of discomfort and resentment and no one wants that around the Holidays. So, set boundaries where needed. Boundaries are not just about saying no but also about protecting your peace and joy during this special time. Proactive communication can be key here! Try to take the emotions out of it. Be firm but kind.


You don’t have to do everything yourself, even if you have in the past. This may require a mindset shift for you. Enlist the help of family members or friends in tasks like shopping, cooking or decorating. This not only eases your load but also creates opportunities for bonding. Delegation is not a sign of weakness but of strength.

Practice Self-Care

Self-care may sound like a luxury but taking the time to care for yourself will not only positively impact you but also those around you. It can be the little things like making sure to stay hydrated each day, enjoying a nourishing meal before tackling your to do list, taking a moment each day to reflect on what you’re thankful for, practicing meditation or doing some deep breathing to bring a sense of calm, getting to bed on time, taking a bath or keeping active whether that means a brisk walk, yoga, or any form of working out that you enjoy.

Enjoy the Season

Finally, take the time to enjoy yourself. It can sometimes be hard to pause and enjoy the moments that this season creates, but finding those opportunities can make it that much sweeter. For example, do you have to get up and do the dishes right away or can you sit and enjoy a few more moments with those gathered around your table?

While this time of year can invoke a wide variety of emotions, I hope you find peace and joy throughout the season that you can carry into the new year.

Krissy Nevero is a Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner and Integrative Nutrition Health Coach based in Sonoma, California. To learn more about Krissy and her services, please visit her website:

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