12 Tips for a Stress-Free, Balanced Holiday Season

Hello darling,

I hope your Halloween was filled with spooky delights and sweet treats! I spent the night snuggled up on my couch, munching on dessert popcorn, and watching cute Halloween movies while handing out candy to my little neighborhood trick-or-treaters. With Halloween bidding us adieu, it’s official – the holiday season has kicked off, and it’s not slowing down until the new year rolls in. Christmas is just a mere 7 weeks away, and Thanksgiving is practically knocking on your door! My favorite memories as a child are from this time of year. Cozy meals with family, tons of desserts, trees carefully decorated, and piling up in the car to marvel at the mesmerizing Christmas lights. But, let’s be real, not every day during this festive season is picture-perfect. So today darling, I am sharing a reminder with you that amidst all the hustle of this holiday season, there is most certainly time for joy and magic. Let’s dive right in to 12 tips for a mindful & balanced holiday season.

1. Plan Ahead:

  • Encourage your family and friends to plan events, gifts, and meals early if possible. I call my parents and brother right before Halloween to get Christmas gift lists, find out if anyone already has plans for Christmas, and discuss when I want to fly in and fly out. This helps everyone know what to expect and makes any travel planning easier.

2. Set Realistic Expectations & Embrace Imperfection:

  • I constantly remind myself that it’s okay if everything doesn’t go perfectly. The holidays are about spending quality time with loved ones, not achieving perfection, but my brain doesn’t always see it that way. One way I do this is by following step 1 and planning ahead, so I can be aware of how much is going on. If you list out the thing that you plan, you will be amazed and realize that perfection is not realistic with how busy you are. Embrace the chaos and find joy in the small, imperfect moments!

3. Practice Gratitude:

  • I know we hear it so much that it is almost a cliche, but gratitude practice can really you adjust your perspective. Reading the news it is easy to be reminded of how fortunate a lot of us are to be safe, loved, and able to celebrate the holidays. Focus on what you have around you and the meaningful moments that are precious in this world.

4. Self-Care Era On the Daily:

  • I am in my self-care, treat myself like a queen, high expectations era for sure. When people ask me what I do on a daily basis, pretty much my entire morning routine is self-care. Exercise, taking time to get ready for the day, reading, meditating. It all helps me manage my stress on a daily basis, and during busy seasons, it is even more crucial to take a minute for yourself. During the holidays, the only time I am going to get to myself is during the morning because as soon as everyone else wakes up, poof! all my time is gone. Remember that you do matter, and this is your holiday to enjoy as much as everyone else.

5. Delegate Tasks & Multiply the Joy:

  • Involve others in your holiday preparations. Sharing responsibilities can lighten the load on you and also help other people feel more invested in how everything turns out. In my family, we all sign up for different dishes to prepare and bring. Just because you are known for your pumpkin pie, you don’t have to make all the desserts by yourself! Make your pumpkin pie, and let someone else take care of other desserts.

6. Budget Wisely:

  • The last thing I want to think about during Christmas is how much anything costs. I don’t have that privilege all the time, but I do my best to make the holidays magical and forget about the cost. Setting a budget for gifts and festivities is the only way this is possible for me. I make my gift list in late October/early November as to who I am getting gifts for, and I spend the beginning of November finding the gifts I want to give and looking at any potential Black Friday sales. Remember, homemade gifts and experiences can be just as meaningful, and honestly, I prefer a thoughtful gift I will use and cherish to something bought just because it was expensive any day.

7. Say No (Politely):

  • Suggest saying no to excessive commitments. Personally, I limit my work commitments and events around the holidays because I want to prioritize events and gatherings that truly matter. A major note here is I always politely decline or graciously accept within a reasonable time-frame. Part of my background is in etiquette training, and sending a timely RSVP is a big part of being well-mannered.

8. Stay Mindful in the Magic:

  • There is a reason I only post certain seasonal content during the season. I am a big believer in being present and mindful. Part of the magic of the holidays is that you can savor the experiences, flavors, and conversations of the season before they are whisked away again. We only have so many Christmases, birthdays, Valentine’s Days, and Halloweens here together, and I want to be mindful for every moment of them.

9. Stay Connected:

  • Whether in person, through video calls, or even heartfelt letters, I do my best to stay connected. Living alone away from most of my friends and all of my family can be hard, especially when I can’t be there for every holiday. Video calling has become a huge part of my life in the past few years, and my family has learned a lot about the technology we have to stay connected.

10. Unplug Occasionally:

  • I love being a content creator, and I love interacting with everyone online because it is a great way to reduce my stress and spread happiness in the world. With that being said, I still like taking digital detox breaks. Unplugging from social media and especially work emails for a few hours or more to focus on the present moment helps me ground myself, and I think you could probably benefit too.

11. Give Back & Spread Kindness:

  • When all the focus is on your part of the world, things can seem stressful and overwhelming. Volunteering or donating to a cause can provide a sense of fulfillment and perspective, reducing the expectations and giving you a sense of gratitude. I started donating and volunteering as a child in school, and I watched my family donate to many local charities over the years. If you don’t have money or items to donate, donate your time if possible. It is not the amount of money or the expense of the items, it is the fact that you cared enough about others to step outside of your bubble and show kindness.

12. Reflect and Appreciate:

  • After the holidays are over, you have a few days before the new year rings in. I love taking that time to reflect on the past year, not just acknowledging my achievements, but appreciating my personal growth. I remind myself to have faith in the process and trust enough to change when I need to. It isn’t all about goal setting, even though I adore planning and goal setting; it is about remembering that the year is behind us and a new one is here. We only have so many of those moments, so take some time to revel in them.

Share your holiday plans with me! Drop a comment or slide into my DMs on Instagram.


Here’s to a holiday season filled with joy, love, and unforgettable moments!

4 photos - orange autumn leaves, white pumpkin with candle, white pumpkin with book, fall candles, title: 12 tips for a balanced holiday season

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