The holidays for me are always fun, full of love, and as ever-changing as the seasons.  It's just Molly, my parrot, and me in San Diego so we don't have the mass gatherings that some of you have.  Then with COVID, who knows what the holidays will look like this year.  What changes we will all be made to adjust to.  So I wanted to give you some tips to help you through a season that can normally be stressful and 2020 in particular. 


Top 10 Ways to Sidestep Holiday Stress

 by Jan Cerasaro

From Halloween eve until Super Bowl Sunday, the holidays create more opportunities for anxiety to get a foothold than a tile roof makes for Santa’s reindeer. Here are 10 ideas to help you keep your own steady footing during the upcoming season. 

  1. Take good care of yourself. Eat healthfully, get plenty of rest, exercise.  This is even more important this year.  Do those things that nurture you, listen to your favorite music, get a massage, or just put your feet up and read a good book. 
  1. Make lists and set aside specific times to accomplish certain tasks. Prioritize. Consider scratching a few items off your list.  Remember you don't need to get everything done at once.  Do your most important or time-sensitive things first then if you can't get everything done celebrate what you did complete.
  1. Ask for help. It’s more fun to do things together—from decorating the house to wrapping presents.   Not everyone likes to do every task so you can probably find help for your least favorite then delegate.
  1. Make a budget and stick to it. No matter what. Let this be the year that you don’t go into debt buying presents.  The advertisers condition us to think that we have to buy expensive gifts in order for them to be appreciated.  Your gifts don't have to be commercially made.   Something simple that you put together as a gift from your heart can be much more valuable.
  1. Shop online or buy gift cards. Give gift certificates or gift cards. Look for ways to make gift-giving easier.  I personally like gift cards for places I like to dine or shop so if you are choosing that option make sure the recipient likes gift cards then get them one for one of their favorite places.
  1. Set aside your differences.  The holidays are meant to be a time for sharing and celebrating not judgments and disagreements.  At our core we are all alike, we just have different ways of expressing our beliefs.  Try looking at another person's point of view as just a new way to think about something.  
  1. Remember to play. Have fun. Be childlike.  Jump in a puddle, blow the puffs off a dandelion, make funny faces or sing silly songs.   Make it a special time with the children, family, and friends. 
  1. Be realistic.  I know many people want events or things to be just perfect and that isn't always under your control.  Relax, take a couple of deep breaths, and do your very best on your projects.  Remember you won't be judged if it's not your idea of perfect and no one will know if you left something out (unless it's the turkey, of course).
  1. Consider alternatives to family gatherings if they cause tension and anxiety. Plan well in advance and avoid last-minute surprises.   With COVID you might need to meet with some relatives or friends via Zoom or Facetime, just get creative and you can still have a lot of fun.
  1. Take a walk. Breathe in the fresh air. Find a place to be quiet and restful. Go there often.  I realize for my friends in London and New York going out to take a walk might be damp or snowy so do the best you can.

Author’s content used under license, © 2010 Claire Communications 


In case you have gotten caught up in an unexpected stressful event and need to release some frustration check out the Dammit Doll which you can get on Amazon.  I have had one for several years and haven't broken it yet even though I tried on several occasions.  They have all sorts of colors and themes.  Here's a link if you want to check them out. 




I hope you are enjoying my weekly Java with Jan as much as I am in creating it for you.  Look for it every Thursday in your inbox except on Newsletter Thursday.  Each issue will follow the theme of the newsletter.



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Stay safe, healthy and happy!

Coach Jan  

Jan Cerasaro
Jan Cerasaro Coaching