Nov 22

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Managing Holiday Stress & Anxiety


Managing Holiday Stress & Anxiety 

The holiday season brings the family together but let’s admit it – not everyone is BFFs with their in-laws. If you are not looking forward to the holidays because of your overbearing mother-in-law or your partner’s obnoxious father, here are some tips on how you can get along with everyone else to make the occasion as merry as possible:

  Lower your expectations

If your in-laws are not your greatest fans, don’t expect them to tell you that you did an amazing job decorating the house for Thanksgiving or Christmas. Don’t expect them either to tell you that they are happy to see you! This does not however mean that you should be rude to them. Be a gracious host whether they respond or not.

– Accept the differences

This is especially true if your in-laws come from a different cultural or religious background. You may never get why they have to thank God for peas and carrots or why they take their shoes off indoors but you just have to get used to the fact that your spouse’s family is different from yours. You certainly can’t change their ways so why stress out about it? Stop telling racy jokes if your in-laws are conservative. Show some respect if you want to get along with them.

– Allow them to help

Everyone likes the feeling of being “needed” so ask your mother-in-law if she can bake her famous pumpkin pie. It will be great if you can ask her to teach you how to make it and tell her that your spouse brags about her cooking. Asking your in-laws for help will make them feel like they contributed something to the occasion.

– Don’t complain that your in-laws are coming over for the holiday season

Never talk about dreading the holidays because of your in-laws to your spouse. This will just break their heart. You can’t pretend that you are excited to see them but the least thing you can do is to not whine about it. If you keep giving your spouse the cold shoulder about having his family for Thanksgiving or Christmas, they will most likely turn on you to defend their family.

– Learn about their traditions

It wouldn’t hurt to cook something that hails from your spouse’s lovely homeland. Plan the occasion accordingly and ask your spouse about their family’s rituals and traditions for the holiday season. Aside from food, these traditions can involve activities, prayers or toasts. This will surely surprise your in-laws and this may be the start of a good relationship. Good luck!

Permanent link to this article: https://inspiringwordsfromtheheart.com/managing-stress-during-holiday-visits/


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  1. 1
    Linda Manns Linneman

    The holidays can be very stressful if we let it be. So many of us suffer from depression and it gets worse over the holiday season. Thank you so much for sharing this great article

    1. 1.1

      Your welcome Linda.

  2. 2
    Terry Poage

    Thanks for sharing this. The less you stress about the holidays the more you enjoy them.

    1. 2.1

      So true Terry, thanks!

  3. 3
    Tamra Phelps

    I think lowering your expectations is key, I agree. Accept that you are not going to have a Walton’s Christmas with a feast that looks like it was prepared by Food Network chefs! And that’s just fine. Lol, that helps a lot!

    1. 3.1

      I agree we all expect way too much of ourselves and others during the holidays.

  4. 4

    Great tips. I think that over expectations is a problem with my attitude at the holiday season. Instead I need to just be in the moment. Not looking forward to the future, nor dealing on the past.

    1. 4.1

      That’s a great attitude to have Kelly! I have to not except so much of myself…that helps me.

  5. 5
    Lori J Pouncey

    Thank you so much for the wonderful tips. I need all the help of can get when it comes to holiday stress lol. Thank you

    1. 5.1

      Your welcome! Holiday time is a very difficult road for many people.

  6. 6
    kristen visser

    not going to lie I am actually stress free during the holidays! Christmas is my favorite time of year. It is when I am at my happiest. And if ever something does happen to stress me out, I turn on the Christmas music and I am good to go 🙂

    1. 6.1

      kristen you are one lucky gal!

  7. 7
    Terry Stevens

    Thank you for the tips as I really need to management my stress due to my chronic illness and cancer.

  8. 8

    It is important to take things slowly.

  9. 9
    Dotty J Boucher

    I think these are great tips and suggestions, I know with 9 grandchildren sometimes it can be over whelming for me. I often head into the shower , yes shower lol turn it on and just sit for a few ..

  10. 10
    Sue E

    Unfortunately, we don’t have any mother-in-laws or father-in-laws. We have brother & sister-in-laws, and son-laws, & grandkids, but that’s about it. A lot of our relatives are deceased! We even have a son-in-law that died at 28 years old, because he was murdered. The only stress at times is if I go over budget! I don’t want money to be a stressed!! Life is too short and it takes the joy out of the holiday!

  11. 11
    Lauryn R

    These are great tips for managing the holidays and all of the stress that comes along with them! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  12. 12
    Laurie King

    Thank You So Much for this Wonderful Article!! I found it Very Helpful in giving ways to “reduce stress” over the Hoilday season. I Will Definitely Be trying it over this Christmas Holiday!!:-)

  13. 13
    Darcy Koch

    I am more stressful in the 2 weeks leading up to Christmas. Stressing over whether I spent an equal amount on each child, if I bought the right gifts, is my house clean enough for guests, etc. Then when the day arrives all the stress is gone. I actually feel very calm and relaxed that day.

    1. 13.1

      Thanks for sharing Darcy! I think my stress goes up with company comes…I worry about everything then.

  14. 14
    Lynne B

    I’ve been very lucky, I think. Sure there have been family issues over the years, particularly when I was younger. But now that my siblings/cousins and I have families of our own, we enjoy a very supportive relationship. I don’t know if that’s the reason, or just because we’re older now.

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