Monroe County Library System,  Monroe, MI 48162


Stress-Free Holiday Tips

It is a well-known fact that stress levels spiral during the holidays. Last year, the Washington Post published an article titled I’m Dreaming of a Right-Size Christmas. Written by Carolyn Butler, the article puts the holidays in perspective and provides tips for managing stress during these busy times.

Check out other sites for more advice and tips on season-induced stress.

The Parenting Without Pressure website calls December “National Stress Free Family Holiday Month,” and features tips that suggest including the whole family in the holiday preparations, setting realistic priorities, and ways to recognize and beat stress.

Online website, offers 10 Ways to Reduce Holiday Stress. This organization suggests that parents reassess and re-prioritize holiday activities and even fit in some new traditions. The list also includes simplifying, planning, and making time for oneself. 

Professional organizer, Regina Leeds, suggests an organized approach to holiday shopping and planning in her 9 Steps to Stress-Free Holiday Giving. Although a decade old, this kind of advice is never dated.

MyPyramid Tips for a Healthy Holiday Season includes tips for keeping it simple while also keeping it healthy for the holidays. The website’s focus is on improving the nutrition and well-being of citizens by providing dietary guidelines.

Mayo clinic acknowledges that stress and depression are often high during the holidays. Stress, Depression and the Holidays: 10 Tips for Coping introduces situations that may bring on stress, and how to turn them into situations that will actually bring some level of enjoyment.

The Mayo Clinic website also offers a number of relaxation techniques that may help in the reduction of holiday stress. According to their website, reducing stress using a relaxation technique benefits the body by reducing heart and breathing rates, lowering blood pressure, reducing tension, pain, and anger, and increasing concentration levels and confidence. Try relaxing with a narrated, online Yoga or Meditation video. To find out if stress is taking a toll, take the Mayo Clinic’s Stress Assessment. Answer the questions and let Mayo calculate the stress level. Take this frequently, as stress levels can change from day to day or week to week.

The American Psychological Association provides calming strategies for a variety of holiday situations such as death, financial crises, time demands, and what to do when children pressure parents with large wish lists.

Materials from the Monroe County Library System that help keep it simple and reduce stress:

book jacket

:60 Second Stress Management
By: Andrew Goliszek

Book Description: The quickest way to relax and ease anxiety –Cover

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The Art of Doing Nothing: Simple Ways to Make Time for Yourself
By: Veronique Vienne
Book Description: Full of techniques to help slow down the pace and enjoy the everyday happenings around us.

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Christmas Sucks: What to do When Fruitcake, Family, and Finding the Perfect Gift Makes You Miserable
By:  Joanne Kimes
Book Description: A humorous look at the stress and commercialization that surround Christmas and tips on how to survive mentally and financially.


Beginner’s Dynamic Yoga for Stress Release & Weight Loss [videorecording]
By:  The Yoga Therapist, Inc.

DVD Description: Yoga instructor Suzanne Andrews presents yoga exercises for weight loss and stress reduction. Part one consists of 14 minutes of standing yoga movements followed by 14 minutes of seated poses. Part two consists of ten minutes of motivational meditation.

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Everyday Calm: Relaxing Rituals for Busy People
By:  Darrin Zeer
Book Description: Includes 50 stress reducing ideas for people who are on-the-go.


Guided Relaxation for the Body and Mind
[sound recording]
By:  Heidi Minnick

Audio Book Description: One sound disc provides guided relaxation  with voice only, voice with waves, or voice with music options.

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Redeeming the Season: Simple Ideas for a Memorable and Meaningful Christmas
By:  Kim Wier and Pam McCune

Book Description: A book that helps turn the commercialized holiday back into its intended roots.

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Simple Steps for Every Holiday: An Easy Plan for More Joyful, Less Stressful Celebrations All Year Long
By:  Lisa Lelas

Book Description: Offers advice for stress-free living during any holiday.


Unplug the Christmas Machine; How to Recapture the Simple Joys of Christmas
By:  Jo Robinson
Book Description: A guide to battle holiday stress and commercialism. Includes recipes and activities.

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