Beat Holiday Stress and Blues

By Dr. Coach Love 

The holidays have become stressful for me. I would rather enjoy the holidays, but can’t figure out how to beat the blues. Everybody seems to have difficult relatives and so do I. things always seem to not turn out as planned. So how does anybody ever enjoy the holidays?  Can we beat holiday blues to enjoy this season more? What is the source of all that stress anyway?_______________________________________________________________________________________________ 

Stress. We feel it. Sometimes we even need it. Holiday stress is anywhere you find it— in the broken heirloom tree ornaments or china, lumpy gravy, difficult relatives, not enough help with preparation, frustration with seasonal commercialization, tightly budgeted presents that may disappoint, multiple conflicting family invitations, reminders of our loneliness or disconnection, and the special loved ones not present to celebrate with us. We can also feel stressed without identifying a cause. 

The key is to fully own our stress. Through that embrace, while we cannot control external stressors or avoid stressful thoughts, we can turn our stress thoughts into our best thoughts and action. 

Here are some ideas:

  1. Place that ornament and plate broken into 1 million pieces on the floor into a zippered plastic bag. Retell the story for years of its origin and specialness.

  2. Donate to charities and homeless shelters in place of gifts to friends and families. Volunteer your time for a worthy cause.

  3. Form a volunteer committee and delegate preparation chores for the family get together.

  4. Surprise that “difficult relative” with a special and unexpected mystery present this year. Or just give them the space they need to be difficult— without you involved. Just breathe and let them go.

  5. Create playful traditions around good gravy/ bad gravy tales for the young to retell for generations.

  6. Honor the dear departed relatives or the family soldier overseas through sharing wonderful best memories of that person through storytelling rituals.

  7. Translate holiday stress and blues into a time of connection and renewed communication. E-mail, text, and free long distance calling certainly make it more doable. 

Turn your stress inside out this year. You will find a nugget of golden opportunities for warmth and connection.

What do you think? 

 That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. 


Dr. Coach Love


v      I invite your comments below.

v      E-mail your relationship coaching questions to

v      Questions selected will be edited as needed to reflect privacy,

            brevity, clarity, and general interest.

v      Sorry, Dr. Coach Love is unable to offer any personal advice through this blog. This blog is not intended as a substitute for therapy. If you suspect any mental health problems, please seek immediate direct professional services as appropriate.

v      Check out relationship coaching services at  

©       Copyright 2009 P.H. Pickett, Ph.D.  All rights reserved.

            Contact for permissions.

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About drcoachlove

Dr. Coach Love is the author of the multiple award-winning book, The Marriage Whisperer: Tips to Improve Your Relationship Overnight, published by MSI Press, a traditional publisher in California.

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