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Five Tips for Managing Holiday Stress

Updated: Dec 15, 2022

Women of Galveston and Southeast Texas – Find Support Here!

As the holidays approach, your thoughts likely turn to making loved ones feel special. Who doesn’t want to end the year with treasured new memories? But for many people – especially women – that is a mixed blessing. With a packed schedule and a long to-do list, it can be a difficult time. Read on for these five tips for managing holiday stress, so you can stay centered and enjoy the season.

1. Find Emotional Balance

While emotional balance may feel elusive during the holidays, respecting yourself and accepting that you cannot do – or fix – all things at all times is important.

When you’re feeling overwhelmed and anxious, try this breathing exercise to slow down your nervous system in as little as two minutes:

Find a quiet spot (a restroom or your car will work if you’re away from home), and inhale for four seconds. Now, hold the breath for seven seconds, and exhale for eight seconds. Repeat as your body and mind slow down to a calm, balanced place. This helps reset your mind, so you can return to your activities feeling rejuvenated.

It may also help to commiserate with a trusted loved one; however, they may be busy and stressed as well. Reaching out to someone outside of your circle who can listen and offer quality advice can help you through tough moments. If you need guidance in processing emotions and finding balance, Certified Professional Life Coach Rachel Stokes offers a wealth of support in Galveston and Southeast Texas. If one on one sessions seam overwhelming look into her S.I.P. (Sharing Is Powerful) women's support group.

Your emotions are yours and yours alone, and they have a purpose! Honoring and working with your feelings, especially with caring assistance, will help you avoid holiday stress.

2. Practice Self-Care

Self-care is not only bubble baths and chocolates, but also caring for your most important needs. Simple things like getting enough rest and eating foods that support your body may seem obvious, but those two basic necessities are often overlooked when stressed.

Treat sleep as a priority, and avoid overindulging in holiday temptations like alcohol and/or foods that make you feel sluggish or tired – too much can increase your holiday stress physically, mentally, and emotionally. Take note of how certain foods may make your body feel. And if you do overindulge, give yourself grace; you’re only human!

Also, limit your social media use, or else you may negatively reset your thinking by comparing yourself to others. Remember, you’re only seeing their “highlight reel,” and not the burnt dinners, fussy children, and other nightmares they’re likely going through themselves. A fulfilling holiday is about what matters to you and your loved ones.

When you think you’re failing, take a few moments to recall a happy holiday memory. What made it so special? What was truly important? Holiday stress is temporary.

3. Set Boundaries

The art of setting boundaries is just that – an art – but a rewarding skill to learn. Establishing emotional boundaries gives you confidence.

The only one who will truly suffer if you take on more than you can handle is you. It is not only okay, but healthy to decline invitations that may make you uncomfortable.

If the obligation is a positive one, but stressful… delegate! Most people, including children and partners, love to feel needed and helpful. Let go a bit, and trust them to assist with tasks.

And if someone presses you to take on more obligations than you can handle, express sincerely that you’re too overwhelmed. You can offer a “trade” with them, where you contribute in a way that works for you and is helpful to them – for example, picking up items like cups, ice, or other needs.

On that note…

4. Get RUDE!

When you’re practicing self-care and setting boundaries, you may feel you’re being “rude,” especially if you’re invited into a situation with a person who is toxic to you. The only truly rude course of action, however, is being rude to yourself by denying your own fundamental needs.

So, let’s reconsider – and regain power over – the word “rude,” with an exercise to help reset your thinking.

Imagine “RUDE” stands for:

- Remember

- Understand

- Decline

- Emotional Balance

First, remember how the person in question makes you feel. If they have caused toxic stress to you in the past, it’s best to know they may still be set in past patterns.

Next, understand that it’s your choice to interact with or avoid them – you can save your energy for healthier relationships.

Decline any invites that may make you feel uncomfortable. It is beneficial to you and yours to avoid situations that may hurt you.

Hold tightly to your emotional balance. “Trusting your gut” is not a cliché – it’s good guidance when it comes to self-care.

5. Give Yourself a Gift: a Galveston Beach Retreat

When you’ve been frantically shopping for everyone else, it’s easy to forget that you deserve a gift, too! A beach retreat in historic Galveston is a great way to cover all of the above tips for managing holiday stress. Galveston-based Life Coach Rachel Stokes, CPC has designed the perfect getaway to help you reset your thinking, find emotional balance, learn to set boundaries, and enjoy social interaction surrounded by the natural beauty of the Gulf Coast.

On your Galveston retreat, you’ll find support and friendship with women much like you, with activities to help you regain your sense of strength and self. Melt away the holiday stress in an environment of compassion and positivity, while regaining your sense of wonder and awe at the intersection of history and nature.

We wish you the best in this holiday season, and we’re here to help! Reach out to Rachel at

713-515-7484 or to learn more about her Galveston beach retreats and empowering guidance.

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