The holidays are not a time for stress. It’s a time for family, friends, and reflection. It’s a time to celebrate all that we are grateful for and enjoy the company of those we love. For many people, however, the holidays can be a difficult time. And it’s no wonder. If all the gift shopping, travel plans and company parties weren’t enough, there’s still Houston’s never ending network of highways, toll roads and congested traffic to contend with!


If you are feeling anxious or stressed about the upcoming holiday season, take a deep breath and relax. It can be easy to compare yourself to other people and feel like your stress or anxiety levels exceed theirs. However, it’s helpful to keep in mind that everyone deals with stress and anxiety differently. This blog post will provide some tips on how to stay present during the holidays and enjoy this special time!

Managing Stress: How to be Present During the Holidays


Practice Mindfulness

The holiday season is a time for joy, but it can also be a chaotic and overwhelming period. Practicing mindfulness during this time of year can help reduce stress and bring balance to your life. Spend some time each day being mindful—notice the sights, smells and sounds around you, focus on your breath and take time to appreciate the present moment and the time we have to share with friends or family. Find moments of relaxation in activities like yoga or tai chi or even slow walking or gentle stretching. When things get busy, take a few deep breaths before continuing on with your day, savoring the peace of simply being aware in the moment. Mindful pauses are an essential part of keeping balance during this celebratory season.

“Let It Go”

Some of the greatest advice during the holiday season from….Elsa? Sometimes we just have to surrender and accept that everything can’t be perfect. So what if you burnt the cookies because you were enjoying some time with family. Give yourself permission to make mistakes and “let it go” when something goes wrong.

Take Some Time For YOU

The holidays can be incredibly busy. Between all the shopping, baking and decorating, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Taking a few moments each day to treat yourself is a good way to stay grounded in the midst of holiday madness. You might plan a luxurious bubble bath with a face mask, grab an extra hour of sleep one morning or put on some festive music and dance around the living room! It doesn’t matter what you decide, as long as you make it special. An added bonus: when you take time out to pamper yourself during the holidays, your friends and family will enjoy your refreshed energy even more!

Focus on Your People

Focus on the people you love (yes, even those with whom you disagree). Set realistic expectations and choose to focus on quality time with your loved ones. Actively listen, without the distraction of your smartphone, TV or social media. Show genuine interest and tolerate differences in conversations.


The simple act of reconnecting with your breath can ignite presence. Additionally, mindful deep breaths can aid in sleep and relaxation while helping to release endorphins associated with uplifting moods. If done regularly, small changes in breathwork can make a big difference in overall wellbeing.


At the end of the day, remember that taking care of your mental health is just as important as taking care of your physical health. If you feel overwhelmed by all that busy Houston traffic and everything that needs to be done during the holidays, try setting realistic goals for yourself and asking for help when needed. Doing so will help you focus on enjoying this special time with those you love! Enjoy the Holidays!


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