5 Tips for Surviving Family Stress During The Holidays

The holiday season means time for celebrating with those closest to you. Whichever definition you choose, this usually means family–and family stress.

Family can be many things and if the movies teach us one thing–it’s that a holiday trip can be annoying but end with a loveable lesson. Here is what we do to make it past the awkward hugs, the eye-rolls, and weird, invasive questions about your love life.

holiday wreath and presents outside a front door
The holiday season means different things to different people–but the main theme is time with family.

1. Don’t Let Guilt Control You

Guilt is a great tactic to get people to do what you want. While this is taken to an extreme in abusive relationships, it’s usually just a mild bit of stress when it comes to family. However, stress can build up over time, especially when you have other things to do. 

Need to get a ham on the table, but also have to hold a conversation with Mom? Dinner time can get hectic. Just remember, those closest to you generally have your well-being in mind.

 If they are guilting you, determine what it is they actually want. Do they want to spend more time with you? Address this. Get it out in the open, and don’t let the age-old tactic control you.

2. One Day at a Time

Have a two-week trip to stay with your relatives? Just take it one day at a time. This can work even if you’re not on an extended stay. One hour at a time, one moment at a time. Just focus on the task at hand, and give it your full attention. Don’t worry about the rest of it. 

With stressful times, it helps to use these bite-size moments. If you worry too much about the future, you’re going to put more stress on the present moment.  This is where meditation comes in. You can use this tool to help calm your mind and increase your patience.

3. Organize your Giftlist (and Budget)

Organization will set you free! Think you have an insurmountable pile of tasks? Break them up, just like the previous step. It’s going to stress you out much more if you have this cloud of ideas floating over your head.

baby with santa hat with a lit tree in the background
Practice gratitude! Be thankful for the time you have with your family.

Here are some steps to help with that to-do list:

  1. Write them all down –  Get everything out of your head and onto paper (or screen). Make sure you have access to your notes so you can edit them as needed.
  2. Organize by priority – You’ll see some relatives first and others later. Rearrange your gift list in order of whom you will be running into throughout the months.
  3. Organize again by gift – After you know who you’ll be getting gifts for, you can start assigning gift ideas to each person. Brainstorm with some warm cocoa for bonus points!
  4. Set realistic goals – You probably have a good idea of your budget for these things, but price check each item first and get yourself a total. It’s easier to plan with concrete numbers to work with.
  5. Finalize it with a checklist – For some, the act of checking things off a list imparts a sense of satisfaction. Grab a big marker and put a check next to everything you accomplish. 

4. Be Realistic with Family Expectations

It may seem counterintuitive, but saying “no” to people will actually foster healthier relationships. Your family and friends will want to see as much of you as possible over the season, and that pressure can stress you out!

champagne glasses with holiday decor for surviving family stress
Bonus tip: making drinks or cooking can be a great way to cool down and stay present.

Think about what you can realistically accomplish. Take the checklist from earlier but instead of gifts put family members you wish to see. Then, instead of gift prices, place trip prices for each one. 

If you can’t fit in everyone, make promises to visit instead after the holiday rush calms down. They’ll most likely understand, and if they don’t–well, unfortunately, we don’t have the answers to everything!

5. Keep Self-Care in Your Routine

This extends beyond simple meditation. If you have a fitness regimen, don’t fall behind during family visits. Try to get to a gym or do home exercises. 

Sticking to your routines (self-care or otherwise) will not only give you a mental boost, but it also sets an internal standard. You’re going to give your time and energy this holiday season to those you care about, but don’t lose your own way in the process. Stay grounded.

Any visit is a chance for family stress. You want your parents/relatives to have a good time with you and enjoy your stay, but the holidays can add an entirely new dimension of pressure on the events. Keeping good friends and family have surprising health benefits, so these visits are definitely worth it in the long run.

Just remember these five rules and you should sail through with no problem. Don’t forget to refrigerate leftovers and keep receipts. Happy Holidays, everyone!

All Your Brain Wants For Christmas, is Sex!

Are a lot of your friends birthdays in September? Ever wonder why? It is a simple explanation- a lot of babies are conceived on Christmas! Based on a record database by MooseRoots, Christmas is the number one holiday people are intimate, followed by New Year’s Eve, and then Thanksgiving. A study in 2004 showed that a large number of men buy Playboy magazines only in the month of December. Talk about feeling frisky! While you are home for the holidays, and find yourself feeling more aroused than normal, get it on. As many studies have shown, it is normal to have sex on the brain more during the holidays. So this holiday season don’t be a bah humbug, be a hump-bug! That’s right, as the snow falls and the fire burns, put that elf back on the shelf and bring sexy back!

The holidays are usually the time when we give and receive gifts, but the best gift to give & get is sex.
The holidays are usually the time when we give and receive gifts, but the best gift to give & get is sex.

Why The Increased Interest?

The word sex was searched on the web the most around Christmas, not just in the U.S., but all over the world. People were not just searching porn, they were also searching general knowledge about sex and contraception. There are a couple of reasons people get it on more during the holidays. One reason is because the closeness the holidays promote. The holidays are all about the message of giving, love, and being together. People feel happier, and are more likely to start thinking about a family around the holidays.

Another reason for an increased interest in sex is alcohol consumption. All of that spiked cider from a Christmas party will not only promote bad judgment, but frisky behavior as well.

No one wants to be alone during the holidays, which brings us to another reason people desire more sex during this season. People are more likely to seek out sex partners than to be alone. We crave connection, and the sense of being wanted, especially during Christmas. And what better connection is there than a sexual one?


The holidays encourage closeness with our loved ones.
The holidays encourage closeness with our loved ones.

During the holidays, we get together with our families, immediate and extended, and learn to appreciate each other. It is the one time during the year that everyone is free of work and school, and can just relax with friends and family. This closeness is especially true for parents and adults to reconnect. This is the time to get rid of the stressors in your life, put away cell phones and electronics, and bring out the lingerie and toys.

Baby It’s Cold Outside

It is cold outside, so what does that mean? Well, a lot of cuddling and sex sessions of course! Did you know that northeast U.S. has better lovers? A survey conducted around the country found that the Northeast came in first with claims that their lovers are better in bed during Christmas. My guess is that it might be due to the weather being so cold. Save up on your heating costs, and create some body heat under the sheets.

More Orgasms

The closer you feel with a person, the more likely you are to communicate, connect sexually, and orgasm more. This happens to take place more during, you guessed it, the holidays! 34% of people report to having 3 times as many orgasms at Christmas than during any other time of the year. That is enough reason for anyone to want to have sex on Christmas. Bring on the pleasure!

The holidays can bring a lot of stress from rushing, and trying to get a lot done so that you can enjoy it with your loved ones. We have to shop, cook, travel, get projects done, decorate and so forth. But another thing the holidays bring on is sexual desire. It is no coincidence that a lot of people are born in September. Grab your partner and make the best of your time together.