Managing Stress & Staying Zen During the Holidays

Managing Stress & Staying Zen During the Holidays

It’s certainly a time of year when energies can be at high highs and, in a matter of seconds, quickly drop down to low lows.

Here are some of my top tips for staying zen and managing stress during the holidays:


It’s so easy during the holidays to think you have to be everything to everyone, especially if you have visitors. Or to feel like you need to keep going and not stop and say yes to everything or push yourself, even if you’re feeling tired. It’s not true. The whole intention behind the holidays is for everyone to take a break from working and come together to celebrate life and find some sense of gratitude for the moments you receive with loved ones. The better you are at taking time for yourself, even if it’s just a few minutes during the morning, day or evening, the better you are to everyone else around you. People usually snap or lose their zen when they are pushing themselves past what their bodies and minds are capable of handling. There is nothing wrong with taking a break and letting yourself have a few moments alone.

Try: Go for a walk, to breath, to work out, meditate, read, rest or simply collect your thoughts. The holidays are not a normal occurrence in your weekly routine, so you may have different needs to be able to manage it all. That’s perfectly ok and it doesn’t make you a better or worse person if you need to take some time for yourself. Many times, people put pressure on themselves to be all things to all people during the holidays. No one around you will get upset if you say, I need a break; especially if you give them permission and encouragement to do the same. It’s a much nicer and kinder way to experience the holidays!


This is one of my favorite reminders, and it comes from the book, The Four Agreements. The idea behind this message is to remember that everyone is going through their own experience during the holidays. If your boss snaps at you or your sister gets mad or if anyone around you makes you feel bad or even upset, take a deep breath. Remember that you’re allowed to feel whatever you need to, but also to create space for yourself to see that it’s not just about you. Others have big emotions during this time. Each of us can have several things going on because the holidays represent different things to different people. Your job is not to take on anyone else’s emotions and energies but your own.

Try: Stepping away for a few moments and imagine yourself releasing any energies or emotions that do not belong to you. If you have processing to do with your own feelings, you are responsible for those and those only. You can even take a quick pen and paper and sit alone for a few minutes to just journal whatever feelings are coming up. The simple act of writing and connecting with yourself can easily help you lighten your load.

Managing Stress & Staying Zen During the Holidays

Being with a lot or even a few people for several days can also stir up a lot of new energies that you may or may not be used to. Rather than trying to demand of yourself or anyone else that you need to all get along perfectly, remember that this is an evanescent experience. You are only with one another for a few days. If you can stay grounded in your own breath and your own heart, you can appreciate that this is a temporary time together and that you are fully able to enjoy these moments while staying grounded and rooted in your own life and practices.

If you are traveling for the holidays,

Try: Bringing an essential oil from home to remind you of your own bed and use a few drops before bed time to ground you.

Try: Downloading your favorite guided meditation and bring your headphones so you can take some time to root back into your body and practices.

If you’re at home and hosting,

Try: Lighting a serene smelling candle to keep you calm and remind you of your practices while you’re hosting and/or

Try: Cleansing your space with some sage before guests arrive and then light some incense and set your intentions for the time together to enhance the energies you want to call into the home before guests arrive. Then sage your home to cleanse the energies after guests depart.


Remind yourself that you are an imperfectly perfect being and there is no need or intention for you to do anything just right. Some things you will absolutely get done beautifully and other things won’t quite feel or look the same. That’s ok. It’s all perfect, just as it is. There is no need to add any extra demands or stresses to yourself during this time.

Try: Setting an intention or saying a prayer before any holiday events, hosting, activities or even cooking. Simply setting your intention can allow you to feel that you’re intending to do your best and you have now called in that which you intend to receive. The rest is not up to you.

Read more: Getting Unstuck and Making Real Life Changes4 Cross-Culture Methods of Divination to Lower Stress, and Healthy Hostess: How to Stay on Track While Hosting Out of Town Guests.

KELSEY J PATEL is a spiritual empowerment coach, healer and entrepreneur dedicated to helping you live a vibrant, joy-filled, abundant life. Through her public speaking, Fortune-500 consulting, online programs and private practices of reiki, EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique), and intuitive healing, she guides others through the process of releasing their old stories and limiting beliefs. Through healing these past wounds, her clients can then step into lives filled with peace, purpose and true fulfillment. Connect with Kelsey: Website // Facebook // Instagram