5 Steps To Avoid Holiday Stress So You Can Enjoy Your Christmas Celebrations

Don't let the ball of overwhelm drop and hit you.

two women exchanging Christmas gifts Getty

Christmas and the holiday season is fast approaching, and it's during this time that women reach peak holiday stress.

They're overwhelmed and exhausted. The children are on school break, and slowly but surely the focus is on everyone else other than themselves.

Everyone talks about the importance of self-care. You know, the things you like to do that make you feel good?

Self-care — taking time out for yourself — really is important. 


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How can you avoid holiday stress so you can enjoy the Christmas and holiday season?

But there's actually something way more important than self-care, and that's having stabilizers in your life.

Stabilizers are the very things that keep you stable, regardless of what's happening around you. They're as important to your overall well-being as water is to keeping you alive.

5 Steps to enjoy the Christmas and holiday season. 

1. Be clear on what's important.

Get very clear on the two to three things that are most important to you. These should just be as important to you as water. These are your stabilizers. 


2. Know why they're important.

What do they "give" you?

3. Know your minimum.

Get clear on the minimum time you'll apply each stabilizer.

4. Avoid canceling. 

Set them up in your diary knowing that they can be shifted if required. However, they will not be canceled for any reason.

5. Figure out how you would feel. 

Get clear on what you would feel like and what life would be like if you didn't implement these most important things.

When you're clear on the above, you will not only have certainty on what your stabilizers are, you'll know that they're non-negotiable in your life, regardless of what's happening around you.

When you live with and apply your stabilizers, especially when things are overwhelming or hectic, each time you apply one, you'll feel good about yourself.


When you honor your basic needs, you know deep down that you haven't betrayed yourself. It's when you betray yourself that you hit the most overwhelm and stress.

Stabilizers are your non-negotiables for holiday stress.

Why? Because if you drop the ball on these, you drop the ball in your life. 

Emotional overwhelm and physical exhaustion set in and you start to fade into the background, and everything and everyone else moves upfront to center stage.

You start expending too much energy with nothing left for yourself.

A lack of stability exists rather than a strong foundation.

Just like a building that's at risk of collapsing, so too are you at risk if you don't maintain a strong foundation by being clear on what your stabilizers are.


RELATED: 5 Simple Ways To Beat Holiday Stress And Spend Quality Time With Family

There are many things I personally enjoy in my life:

Time with family.


Walking around the lake.



Time with friends.                                           

Great conversations with friends.

Reading a good book or listening to a podcast.

Working out at the gym with a personal trainer.

Watching a great movie.

However, my personal stabilizers are these:

Meditation: It grounds me, keeps me aligned and tuned in to my inner voice of knowing, calms me, and gives me energy and fresh perspective. It brings my full attention back to myself. In fact, 20 minutes of meditation is the equivalent of four hours of quality sleep.


Exercise: It strengthens my body and reduces aches and pains, keeps me in a positive mood, improves my sleep and makes me feel strong.

Connecting with friends: It's a source of support that makes me feel connected and valued and enables me to share what's going on and can also trigger a good laugh.

Stabilizers offer connection and energy to fight holiday stress.

Each of the above stabilizers offers me both. The connection to self, body, and others energizes me physically, emotionally, and mentally. It keeps me stabilized during full-on crazy times.


Usually when life is not chaotic, I will meditate for an hour five days a week, exercise five days out of seven, and call my three closest friends at least once a week.

When life hits high speed and there's not as much available time, I will meditate for ten to fifteen minutes no less than twice a week, exercise twice a week with my personal trainer, and call one friend at least once a week.

Cutting back is far better than cutting out altogether.

Remember, it's not how much time you give to your stabilizers, it's that you keep them in place. No excuses.

You deserve to live your best life possible, to have energy in an ever-changing landscape, and to feel a sense of stability rather than the crushing feeling of overwhelm.


It doesn’t take much, just the commitment to yourself and your wellbeing. It's a choice.

The power of that choice is in your hands.

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Kaye Doran is an entrepreneur, facilitator, speaker, women’s leadership and life coach, shamanic healer, and creator of Inner Expressions, helping women realize their leadership from within.