WPS Health Insurance Blog

Stress-busting tips for a happier holiday season

Posted by Kirstin Kuplic

Dec 6, 2012 9:34:00 AM

Stress less this holidayIt’s that time of year! Some would even say it’s the most wonderful time of the year. But that doesn’t mean it’s relaxing. If you’re like me, you have presents to buy, parties to attend, and dinners to prepare. Don't let it stress you out!

When you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, use these ideas to help you not just “get through” the holidays, but enjoy them to the fullest.

Systematic gift-giving

When it comes to giving gifts, you need a game plan. Start by writing the name of everyone for whom you need to buy a gift. List them, one by one. Next to each name, write your gift ideas. See the chart below for an example.

Do Not Exceed: $300




Date to Wrap

Date to Mail


Sweater and perfume




Aunt Susie

Box of cookies

$10 plus shipping



After everyone has been tallied, make a rough estimate of how much all your gifts combined will cost. Plan ahead for when you’ll wrap or mail items. Short on cash? Buy holiday cards in bulk, write a personal message inside, and mail them off. It’s an easy way to let people know you’re thinking of them.

Prepared party-going

Swamped by party invitations? It’s time to prioritize. Start by writing each event on a calendar. Which are the most important to attend? Circle those. Next, decide if you need to bring a gift, beverage, or food. Write down what you’ll bring, and next decide when you’ll prepare it or if you’ll stop at the store on the way to the party. Don’t feel bad if you can’t attend every party. You don’t have to accept every invite.

Disciplined decorating

Depending on how you approach it, decking the halls can be serious fun—or serious torture. So keep it simple to keep yourself sane. Do only that which will bring you joy. Decide what you’ll decorate and how much you’ll spend on décor. Don’t feel the need to compete with your neighbors.

Deliberate dinners

If you find yourself in charge of cooking a large holiday meal, or preparing for a large party, don’t panic. First, write down what you’ll be serving and to how many people. Next, make a grocery list and determine which foods need to be made in advance or the day of. Don’t be afraid to ask guests to bring a dish to pass, a bottle of wine, or an appetizer. You don’t have to do it all yourself.

If you’re feeling alone

Even amidst the hustle and bustle of the holidays, it is possible to feel lonely. If you don’t have many people with whom you can share the holidays, you still have lots of options.

You can do something for those less fortunate. For example, volunteer at a soup kitchen. Register to purchase a gift for an underprivileged child. Sing carols at a nursing home. Or attend religious services. You’ll feel part of a community when celebrating with others. If you find yourself at home alone, do what makes you happy. One of my favorite pastimes is to watch my most-loved holiday movies with a nice home-made meal and a steaming mug of hot cocoa.

Tell us your ideas!

What are some of your tips and tricks for maintaining your holiday cheer? Let us know. We’d like to hear from you!

Topics: Wellness