How to Stay Sane During the Holidays

Today’s guest post comes from my friend and high school classmate (woot woot) Abby of Abby Normally. One of these days we’ll get our act together and run a race at home together… I’m sure of it! Thanks for posting Abby!

The holidays are great. Really great. I love the food, the family, the excitement in all of the stores.

But the holidays also cause a lot of stress: the food, the family, the excitement in all of the stores.

You know what I’m talking about.

I have some sort of self-diagnosed holiday bi-polar disorder. One moment I’m in yuletide utopia listening to Nat King Cole and planning my Christmas menu. Then an hour later I’m considering body checking the grandmother that just grabbed the last copy of Toy Story 3.

Again, you know what I’m talking about.

But I survive, somehow, every single year. And I usually come into January with a smile and anticipation for the next Thanksgiving (or maybe I just want Spring, but whatevs).

Control what you can: You have no idea how much I would love to control what other people do and how they plan their time. I’m pretty much convinced that I know best and if everyone would just listen to me, things would be a lot better in the end. I also know that I’m delusional. But I can always, always, ALWAYS control what I do and how I respond to the situations I’m faced with. Family may not cook for my dietary needs, so I can bring a dish that I know I can eat.


Acknowledge it for what it is: No one is perfect and no family is perfect (although mine is pretty close–as you can tell from the pictures). If we go into the holiday season expecting our family to resemble the Waltons, we’re nuts. Prepare yourself for what lies ahead because people don’t really change that much. There are some members of my family that I just, unfortunately, expect certain behavior from. If you don’t set unreal expectations, you will find that you won’t be as disappointed about the holiday interactions.


Know your limits: I have a secret for you: I’m not Super Woman and neither are you. During the holidays there is a lot of excitement and a lot of things going on…things that I want to do and things that I don’t want to do. If I did them all, I would be overwhelmed and burnt out. So basically I agree to two kinds of events: things that have to do (family Christmas dinners, etc) and things that I really want to do (parties by close friends or Christmas movie nights).


Take time for yourself: I always have the week off between Christmas and New Years and recently my husband started taking the time off as well. He is a hard worker and loves to-do lists. I, well… don’t. So I devote a few days to his projects and a few days to whatever I want to do: reading, running, bubble baths, all those things that are in the least bit productive yet refresh and renew my spirit.


Focus on the positives: It’s the freakin’ holidays. If the season passes and you haven’t taken time to think of all that you are thankful for, you have bigger problems than just stress. And you probably need to buy your family matching pajamas. Everyday we are showered with blessings that we don’t deserve. Each moment that we spend with loved ones is a blessing. Every smile and every laugh is something to be thankful for. This world is full of heartache. Take time to acknowledge all the blessings you have to enjoy this holiday season.

Have a great holiday, friends! Stay happy!

How do you stay sane during the holidays?

Your family is so cute Abby! Have a wonderful Christmas!


  1. 1

    Great post! I found myself nodding along. This weekend was crazy busy, but I also carved out time for a date night with my fiancé and a yoga class. That made all the difference and helped make it a great weekend.

  2. 2

    Love this post and find myself nodding along. This weekend was crazy busy with holiday stuff, but I also carved out time for a date night with my fiance and a yoga class. That stuff made all the difference in having a good weekend.

  3. 3
    Healthy Heddleston says:

    Thank you so much for posting today Abby!

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