How to Stay Sane and Stress-Free this Holiday Season


[halves]Merritt Beck in a Pale Blue Vince Faux Fur Coat

Merritt Beck in a Pale Blue Vince Faux Fur Coat[/halves]

Merritt Beck in a Pale Blue Vince Faux Fur Coat

[halves]Merritt Beck in a Pale Blue Vince Faux Fur Coat

Merritt Beck in a Pale Blue Vince Faux Fur Coat[/halves]

When my mom was in Dallas before Thanksgiving, we found this beautiful pale blue coat, this matching sweater and this silk turtleneck blouse. I decided to hold off on buying it, and I’m glad I did, since all three items went on sale for Cyber Week! I ended up getting all three. I have zero buyer’s remorse though, because this shade of blue is such a good color for me. It’s a stunning, unexpected color for winter, but it’ll also look amazing as we head into spring! I love the idea of styling the sweater and silk top with white jeans, don’t you?

Anyway, as we head into what is sure to be boatloads of family time, I thought it might be helpful to share some tips on how to stay stress free. Whether you’re traveling, hosting, or have back-to-back parties on your schedule, these ideas may help you have the best Christmas holiday yet!


  1. Plan ahead. I know so many people who struggle with this and they are almost always the people who get the most crazed during the holidays. You know the type: they wait until the last minute to buy gifts or groceries, they arrive late to the airport… The best way to be prepared and keep things calm is to plan as much as you can out in advance.
    1. Arrange all of your engagements and things you need to accomplish on a calendar so you don’t double book or run out of time. It also makes it easier to identify blocks of time you can take a moment for yourself or spend time with friends/family. Just make sure you’re not spreading yourself too thin so you can actually enjoy the holiday season!
    2. Get to the airport early. I can’t say this enough! I know many of you would rather get there at the last second then spend more time than you have to at the airport, but with lines being longer than ever and security being at an all-time high you won’t regret it. Get there early so you have time to check your bags, breeze through security and make your flight without pulling your hair out. Flying is stressful as it is, so don’t make it worse!
    3. Make a grocery list. We’ve all had to make multiple trips to the grocery store because we’ve forgotten something, but this is easily avoidable! Make a list and double check it before you hit the checkout counter – it might slow you down at the store, but it’ll save you from having to make multiple trips and waste time later!
  2. Make time for yourself. In addition to a crazy social schedule this time of year (all the parties!), you likely do not have a bunch of independence with all of the family time you enjoy when you’re at home. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE my family and want to spend all the time with them… but I also know I need alone time. Whether that’s for me to get some blog work done, fit a workout in, or just lie down and watch some TV on my computer for an hour, I find getting a little bit of alone time each day helps me maintain my sanity.
  3. Keep up your fitness routine. Working out gives you endorphins and endorphins make you happy, right? Not only is it a great way to burn off those extra calories you’re consuming during the holidays, but it’s also a solid moment for you to practice self-care. Whether you do it with a family member or by yourself, it’s a wonderful stress-reliever and will give you a sense of accomplishment during a hectic time!
  4. Don’t be so hard on yourself. I know with 100% certainty when I go home for the holidays I’ll probably gain a few pounds. I like to indulge and when the food is this good I just can’t resist! I also know I’ll probably drink more than I normally do, and that’s ok. I’m not going to give myself grief over having that extra glass of wine or extra slice of pie if I really want it. I’ll only be home for a few days, and then I can get right back to my routine when I’m back in Dallas!
  5. Do what you need to do and don’t feel guilty about it. On the flipside of #4, if you have committed to a diet or fitness routine and want to stick with it over the holiday season, don’t let anyone make you feel bad about it! If you don’t feel like there will be enough healthy options at the party, eat beforehand. If your family isn’t planning on making any healthy recipes for Christmas Day, make some yourself! Also, don’t let anyone give you grief about it – whenever you tell people “I’m not drinking tonight” or “I’m not having dessert”, you’re almost guaranteed to get a sarcastic or negative response. But don’t let that put you down! Kindly tell the person you’re really trying to be good and you’d appreciate if they’d support you in that, and then move right along.
  6. Choose your battles/know when to walk away. The holidays can obviously be so much fun, but for some people it may not be as easy. Maybe you wholeheartedly disagree with your in-laws about politics, or you don’t want to be up at a certain time for a morning event. Before chiming in, really consider how your response is going to change the dynamic. Is it worth causing an uproar just to get your point across? Or would it just be easier to quietly remove yourself from the situation (stepping away from the dinner table to go to the bathroom, for example)? While everyone is entitled to their own opinions, my suggestion would just be think before you speak or get involved. The holidays should be joyful, and you can certainly duke it out another day!
  7. Do something kind. Whether that’s donating your time or money to a charitable organization or running an errand for your mom, doing good will also make you feel good.

{ photos by Carter Fish – editing by me! }


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