Let’s be real; holidays can be stressful, but the reality is that much of that stress is caused by how we react and handle our environment! I know that can be hard to hear, but it is true, and you are capable of turning holiday stress into happiness.

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The holidays have largely turned into who has the most gifts, the best feast, the nicest trees, shopping for the lowest prices, and trying to make people happy. But what about making yourself happy?  We fail to bring ourselves happiness so we can spread the true meaning of Christmas, or at least what is truth to us. 

According to investopediaFor 2019, industry experts expect the average American to spend $920 per person on holiday gifts, up from $885 in 2018 and reaching a total of more than $1 trillion in holiday spending.     And while I am not telling anyone to stop gift buying, you must agree that is an alarmingly high number. How can we move away from financially burdening ourselves, and really start to enjoy what the holidays mean to us? Well I am here to offer some tips to bring you to a place of joy, and joyness [see charlie the unicorn to understand that silliness 😉 ]

How to turn holiday stress into happiness

1.) Take a mental health day

Sometimes you need a day just for you; I know for myself that means no electronics, and really just focusing on me. Embrace the hobbies you have like ; reading, writing, drawing, listening to music, going for walks and admiring nature, etc. But truly disconnect for the sake of your mental health. You will thank yourself during this crazy time of year; you are NOT selfish for taking time for you!

2.)  Offer selfless service to others

Practicing gratitude and offering service to others will bring true joy to your heart. Selfless service or Seva (in Sikhism), is performed without any expectation of  result or reward; you do it because it brings you joy and gratitude to help others. Examples of this over the holidays could be creating care packages filled with basic necessities and donating to shelters, collecting winter coats for those in need, finding a Christmas tree for a family in need, singing Christmas carols to being cheer to the neighborhood, and so much more.

3.) Don’t set unrealistic goals

I am sure at some point during the holidays you have told yourself: I am going to cook the PERFECT holiday meal, or : I MUST find the perfect holiday gift, the list goes on. Obsessing over the details of these tasks is a time, energy, and stress sucker. Write a list of what is important to you and start thinking of ways you can compromise.  Instead of “The perfect holiday meal” how about “I’m going to cook 2 dishes I know that I love and everyone enjoys each year”, have others pitch in to help so the burden is not on you. Set realistic goals that are aligned with what makes YOU comfortable. Remember, the only person truly judging you….is you.

4.) Have no regrets

Listen, the holidays should not be about pleasing others, it should be about pleasing yourself and making merry with friends and family.The more open and honest we are with the people that we love, the more they will understand our needs and priorities. It is OK to decline holiday party invites and instead enjoy the quiet holiday presence of your own home, it is also ok to fly to Paris and celebrate Christmas in style. Whatever your needs are , that is OK…it is OK to relish in the holidays with no regrets, at your own speed.



Erin Bass

*Fashion Designer*Creator*Unicorn Whisperer*

*Erin hails from Portland, Oregon and is a self taught upcycled fashion designer, seamstress, and fiber artist. Want to see her work? Click here!


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