10 Mental Health Tips for an Unforgettable Family Christmas and Holiday Season

During the holiday season, it's easy to feel overwhelmed with everything...

Being prepared can make a massive difference in managing your stress. Implement these 10 mental health tips to create an unforgettable family Christmas!

1. Plan Ahead

Being prepared can make a massive difference in managing your stress level. If you are traveling, make sure you have all the proper arrangements that you will need for appropriate accommodations.

Do not be afraid to call hotels ahead and let relatives know what you may need.

Having a little bit of comfort can decrease negative feelings about traveling. If you are hosting, start a to-do list early and do a little at a time. Waiting until the last minute to get everything done will create unnecessary stress.

2. Managing Stress

Manage stress with exercise or another enjoyable activity. Take a break from the Christmas shopping and planning and do something that you genuinely enjoy.

Taking a brisk walk around the neighborhood when you’re feeling overwhelmed can be highly beneficial.

3. Let It Go

Do not stress the small stuff. During the holiday season, you can feel overwhelmed with everything ranging from decorating to gift wrapping.

One my newest Christmas hack is not wrapping any gifts. I purchased two giant Santa’s sacks and personalized them for my children.

I was able to fill those sacks with sooooo many gifts and didn’t wrap a single thing. It took me 15 minutes and I spent the rest of the time with a glass of wine.

Related: Self-Care Tips for the Holiday Season

4. Create New Traditions

While the traditions and customs you grew up on may bring you a sense of nostalgia, it can also be stressful. If you are unable to recreate those feelings for your family.

It is okay to break away from your old traditions and create new and positive memories for your family. While there is a great temptation to carry on what you grew up, but if it is making stress levels increase, it is okay to design something new.

You can even tie the oldand new to create something that is customized and unique design for yourfamily.

5. The In-Laws or Family

Make the best out of visiting family. When I was a child, Christmas was one of my favorite holidays because I would get a chance to see my cousins and receive gifts.

However, now that I am an adult, I realize it’s more work than I imagined. Visiting in-laws may not be the best, but you can make the best of it.

Remember that your children are making positive memories. While you may not enjoy their company as long as your children are having a good time, change your focus to that aspect.  

6. Pressure to Visit Local Family Members

All of our family lives in Florida, so for us it’s either they come to us, or we go to them. However, my local friends are under a different type of stress, they have family on both sides that are local, and this causes them great stress.

You cannot attend everyone’s celebration no matter how badly you may want. Come up with an arrangement to either go back and forth between the years or choose alternative holidays to celebrate together. 

Related: Are You DOOMED This Holiday Season?!

7. Step-Parenting and Additional Stress

Step-parenting during the holidays can cause additional stress to what might already be a stressful situation. However, it does not have to be filled with anxiety. Remember to manage your expectations.

Christmas can be magical, but having an ex who is not willing to meet you in the middle is a way to kill the magic. Be realistic and do not expect anyone to behave any differently because it’s the holiday season.

8. Sicknesses

When the weather outside is frightful, it also means that we have entered the cold and flu season. Remind children to wash their hands.

A good rule is to let children know that germs live outside, therefore before touching anything, make sure we remove the outside germs.

9. Blowing Through the Holiday Budget is Easy

Blowing through the holiday budget is easy. When I am doing my Christmas’ shopping, it seems that each year, the list gets longer and longer. Remember when it comes to your children, a positive memory is worth more than an actual toy.

Memories are far more impactful, so don’t stress about getting your child everything on their Christmas list. Going to ice-skate and having a good time as a family is worth far more.


Remember to enjoy the moment. I was speaking with my husband the other day and said: “Do you realize we only get 18 Christmas with our children, maybe 12 of those of them believing in Santa?”

Although coming up with ways and places to relocate our elf “Bradley”, the pure enjoyment and excitement that is in our 8-year-old and 6-year-old faces is priceless. I have to remember to enjoy the moment, and you should do the same.

Click here for more content by Bea Moise, M.S.!


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