How to Manage Holiday Stress

I know the festive season is over and many of us are back to our usual daily activities. However, one important thing we should discuss is the stress that comes with certain holidays. I’ll share my story with you here.

I had daily plans for my holiday as usual, but upon arrival home, my plans went in the opposite direction. Every relative had a task or two for me to do for them. Saying no meant disappointing them. And that was how I jumped from one activity to another without having sufficient time for myself.

Holidays are meant to be stress-free but oh no, not when humans are involved. And the stress could span from physical, emotional, down to financial stress. The demands from family and friends this season is enough for one to lose weight. The financial pressure to meet up the ‘expectations’ of the holiday is crazy.

To manage the holiday stress, I had to consciously do the following:

Have a Flexible Schedule

Creating a flexible schedule with others at the back of one’s mind will make the holiday a little stress free. As long as humans are involved, there will always be needs to be met, people to visit, chores to be done, etc. So while making your daily schedule, include other people’s needs in the list. 

This way, you won’t feel disorganized when they call you to help them out.

Be open to adjustment as much as possible and don’t be stereotype or rigid with your holiday plans.

Accept Differences

It’s possible that you’ve been away from family for so long and can’t remember what it means to seek peoples opinion and agree upon a decision (as little as what meal to cook for the New year’s eve, etc.).

And here you are with relatives with different thought and behaviour patterns. 

In other to avoid emotional stress, accept the fact that people are different and won’t always see things in your perspective. 

So, avoid the unnecessary arguments, learn to disagree to agree. And enjoy the company of others.

Learn to say ‘NO’

These two letter word ‘NO’ have a way of reducing stress. Sometimes, in a bid to please everyone you become a yes, yes individual at the expense of your peace.

‘Most activities are not relevant. They are time thieves.’ Sam Adeyemi.

Serita Jakes said ‘to protect your peace, it’s okay to cancel a commitment, decline a call, change your mind, take a day off, speak up, be alone, let go or say no.’

I’m not asking that you say no to everyone and become selfish, rather find out your time thieves and say no to them without feeling guilty.

Take out time to unwind & relax

The verb holiday according to Online English dictionary means to take a period of time away from work or study. This definition may be somewhat difficult for a workaholic to grasp. It’s okay, I understand.

But, to manage holiday stress, you need to consciously create time to relax and have fun with your family and friends.

A stroll by the garden or beach won’t take your whole day. Time out to laugh and play with the kids in the neighbourhood would be refreshing, a day out with lovely friends or alone would equally be fun.

To unwind, find out your stress relievers and enjoy them!


In what ways do you manage holiday stress? Especially for the most recent holiday. I’ll like to hear from you in the comments.


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