How to Have Your Best, Stress-Free Holidays Ever

Avoid holiday family stress

Why do so many of us dread the holidays? Too often, we see their approach as adding to our already over-stressed lives – more obligations to fulfill, more money to spend, more time needed, and too often, more family drama.

Reunions, relationships, and recreation can have a vital, renewing purpose in our lives. Holidays can be rejuvenating and restorative, if we just refine our attitudes and habits.

What is stress, anyway?

Stress is not some objective force “out there” that happens to you. It’s your internal response to some external stimulus. Types of external stimuli that we tend to enjoy include going on vacation or learning a new game. What we call “stress” is an uneasy reaction to that stimulus; we may feel we don’t have “enough” to accomplish the task ahead. We may feel we don’t have enough time, money, energy, understanding, or patience to succeed.

Why are family reunions so stressful?

Modern family get-togethers present more complicated dynamics with “split” and “blended families.” Plus, everyone’s viewpoints are fully transparent on social media.

What reruns play in your mind and life around the holidays? Are they happy memories or are they reflections of past grudges with certain family members? Most people play mental reruns of past hurts and unconsciously set the stage for real-time reruns! Yet they feel obligated to see these people each year, usually to please others. This is stressful.

Ready to try a different approach this year?

Three tips to “rise above” the family drama

I like to say that “our attitude determines our altitude” in life. Life’s challenges can either make us bitter or better.

  1. Identify the problem – what are your stress triggers?

Ignoring an issue doesn’t resolve it. Wrapped within every problem is the seed of the solution. This is especially true in the case of homeopathic medicine. The guiding principle in that science is “like cures like.” Natural options are much safer solutions to help you through stressful times than by using sugar, alcohol, opioids, or conventional drugs with their potential negative side effects. Getting off sugar is the most important change you can make to prevent stress, serious illnesses, depression, and low energy.

  1. How do you schedule your time during the holidays?

Most people try to fit so much into their holidays that they wind up feeling more exhausted than before. Remember to reserve time for rest, relaxation and spontaneity. Allow for quality time with those you love, not just going and “doing” things together, but just by “being” together. Sometimes that time allows the most powerful, close connections to unfold. After all, we are human beings, not human doings.

  1. Release the needs to “be everything to everyone” and to be “right.”

I just released a video teaching a technique I have used with patients for more than 40 years, and it’s a simple way to help yourself “de-stress” and release old, unhealthy emotional patterns. It’s called Emotional De-Stressing Technique. It even teaches you how to envision new, healthier, happier outcomes, which can dramatically affect your life for the better.

Empower yourself

One of the biggest “aha moments” in life can be to realize that you can proactively be in control of your responses. Your reaction to that relative that causes you stress is just that: “your” reaction to the stimulus. You have the power to change it. You can either light the match to ignite the fuel into a blazing, heated, argument … or not. There’s magic in the phrase, “You may be right.” And then you can drop it. You’re not saying they “are” right or that you agree with them, only that they “may” be (from someone’s perspective somewhere!). But you don’t have to become involved.

These are just a few thoughts for you. We offer many more free tools, techniques and tips to help you handle holiday stress in articles, podcasts, and videos on our website:


Finding a solution is resolution. Resolve old issues and be renewed. Enjoy your most balanced, joyous, holiday season ever – as preparation for your most empowered, positive and proactive New Year ever.

Enjoy the journey!