Stress Free Holiday – Is there such a thing during the Holidays

Getting through the holidays stress free?!?!?!

Holiday time………Happy? Sad? Anxious? Fearful?

Thanksgiving and holiday celebrations are usually a time when famHow do I get through the holidaysilies and friends get together and celebrate. Living rooms are full of people some which have traveled miles and miles to get there.

But….. some people in the room are not feeling it, they feel lonely, depressed, scared, anxious and the people around them do not even notice. They are not having a stress free holiday at all.

Family histories dictate the mood of the gathering and people become very anxious and nervous waiting for things to explode.

Blended families also have challenges, the children now have 2 sets of families and either have to choose which family to be with or have two gatherings on the same day.  The blend depending on how well it was handled at inception will determine how things pan out at gatherings.

Thanksgiving is about giving thanks for what we have .Thanksgiving  Sometimes we are not thankful for what we have because what we have is unhappy, abusive, depressing, painful, financially a struggle and much more. How can you have a stress free holiday with all that going on.

Our Inner Child  can also play a big part in the proceedings and we act out with the re-creation of the emotions we felt as children growing up.

Some people have many choices and are happily enjoying these choices, but there are some people, who through a sense of duty, guilt or loyalty have to be somewhere they really do not want to be. You can get through this and do not have to live the rest of your life dreading every family gathering.  Seek professional help to overcome these feelings.  Many of my clients have stories to tell, I myself can tell you a few!!!  I continually work on my feelings from my childhood but I also notice the children around me and can see the signs and go out of my way to help them.

If you see the children in your family looking as though they are fearful of the people around them, be the person they can trust and share the secret they are not allowed to share.  Be there for them even if there was nobody there for you.


Please share with others so they may benefit also.

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  1. Reply

    We are a blended family scattered across several states so holidays are always a challenge. Now my parents are elderly but we have young children and would like to spend the holidays in our own home, or with our close friends who don’t have family here. This year, we’ve decided to spend Christmas Eve with my parents and then go over their house for breakfast on Christmas morning before spending the rest of the day with our friends. We’ll see how it goes!

    • helenvella


      All about compromise and we put too much pressure on ourselves over the Holiday period. What we do over the holidays we should really being doing all year round anyway. The real reason for the occasion gets lots through the commercial taking over. Thank you for your comments and I wish you all the best this year.

  2. Reply

    Hi Helen,

    I was JUST talking about this with my mother last night! The last few years, I’ve done most of my Christmas planning and gift-buying in November so that I can spare myself being out and about, competing for a parking spot at a mall or maneuvering around cranking people. I don’t want any part of that. It’s helped. It’s really helped.

    Still, it’s a bit of a shame that, as a culture, we’ve taken something meant to be very reflective and enjoyable and turned it into a race of consumerism and expectation. I think that being mindful of it is a great first step, and to try and think it through in advance and decide how you wish to approach it and then stick to that plan as best as you can. Your article is a great encouragement for that.

    Keep up the great work


    • helenvella


      I agree totally with you Kevin, the main part of the stress over the period is having to do things you do not want to do. Also child hood memories getting in the way of enjoying ourselves. Being mindful is a good step which gets lost in the family dynamic as we revert back to the child we were instead of the adult we are now. Great comments Kevin thanks for your input.

  3. Tasleem


    When my family comes together, it is impossible NOT to feel stressed, with 7 aunts and uncles, 22 cousins and a dozen nephews and nieces, it is LITERALLY a crowd lol!

    • helenvella


      Big family and yes very stressful. Enjoy the upcoming holiday season and hopefully not too stressful for you.

  4. Suzanne


    I’ve had such major problems with my family that I now have no contact with any of them. I have a partner and 2 dogs and a cat. We recently bought a VW Campervan and travel about the UK in that stress free. The cat stays at home but my partner, myself and the dogs love it 🙂

    • helenvella


      So sorry you do not have contact with them and glad that you and your partner have found a way to be stress free and happy with your life. Travelling around the UK in a Campervan reminds me of my childhood as that is how we went on our holidays all over Scotland.

  5. Reply

    I really appreciate that you brought up the experience of kids and our own childhoods for your post. It’s a great reminder that we don’t need to just focus on our own stress, but we can make choices to help our family members who also get stressed. This is my first exposure to your site, and this particular post gives me a great introduction to your site overall.

    • helenvella


      Thank you. We were all children once and if we can help the children we are surrounded by overcome their fears and stressors then we are going to have a much better society in the future. One step at a time. Glad you stopped by and hope to hear from you again.

  6. Reply

    Actually I sometimes wait family gathering with some kind of fear and I don’t know what I feel that. Everything is so nice with them actually even no problems. But still I am experiencing it I don’t know why..

    • helenvella


      We all can have mixed emotions regarding family gatherings. Just depends on what kind of fear is going on.

  7. Xdeem Li


    The holidays should be a time of joy and celebration. There is nothing more important than family, period. However, if there is something that is causing stress for any member of the family,(blend or not) it must be address. That’s what family gatherings are for!

  8. Reply

    You are absolutely right! As you said, holidays are supposed to be relaxing and spend time with your family. I celebrated Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter without my family this year, and it wasn’t easy. But luckily I had some good friends and people around me, and that meant the world to me. Thank you for sharing this!

    • helenvella


      Good friends can be as good as family especially during all the different holidays. Glad you enjoyed your celebrations stress free.

  9. Reply

    We did the Superbowl coin toss and told the Mothers who ever won got to choose Thanksgiving or Christmas. And we traded next year. It worked.

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