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5 Ways to Reduce Holiday Stress

We did it! We made it to December, whew! It's been a weird year for everyone and with that comes new and added stress this time of year. Holiday stress is real and it is our body's response to the demands on the season and pressing responsibilities. 2020 has been filled with financial burdens, travel restrictions, separation from our loved ones-- honestly, we could all use this holiday season as a "reset" for our minds and bodies!

Here are a few ways to reset yourself this holiday season to reduce your holiday stress:

  1. Picture the Christmas You Want to Have

Set expectations for yourself and others by imagining what you want your Christmas to look like. Who is sitting around the table at mealtime? What are you all eating? Talking about? Are you laughing with your kids as you make snowman-shaped pancakes? Or are you holding hands with your spouse in front of the fire? Maybe you let Alexa take control and jam out to some Christmas tunes.

Whatever it is, keep that image at the front of your mind. Ask your family what their Christmas day image looks to them and honor that too. Then, you will know what things to treasure and protect for that day. This gives you the confidence to say no to things that will overtake your Christmas Day picture.

2. Say "No"

Remember that Christmas Day you pictured before? Treasure it. Say "no" to things that aren't important to your family. Sometimes we are asked to do a lot more during this time-- volunteer, coordinate, spend money on something, host, etc. It's okay to not participate in a hundred gift exchanges and be the host for multiple gatherings! Pick a couple things that do warm your heart and do those things with big love. Don't spread yourself thin and burn yourself out. This is about quality, not quantity!

3. Connect

2020 has been filled with disappointment, especially when it comes to seeing people. But physically seeing people doesn't mean we cannot connect with people. Make people a priority this year, I bet it will be the best gift you can give! Schedule a family zoom call, write letters to those who you know are lonely, play that game with your children. Just connect. Getting caught up in the hustle and bustle is easy, slowing down to connect and be intentional is hard- but worth it!

4. Sleep...Zzzzz

One of the most powerful tools to help anxiety is sleep! Rest your brain's emotional centers so they don't become overactive. As much fun as it is to watch a second Hallmark Christmas movie, that 2 extra hours of sleep will do you better in the end.

5. Move Your Body!

Yes, it's cold. I hate being cold but bundling up for a walk with my spouse and kids always cheers us up! Get some nature and fresh air in our day- even if it is a quick snowball fight or playing with the kids. Movement help balance our emotional and physical health. Even on the darkest and dreariest days, it is a huge "pick me up"!

I hope your Christmas (and time leading up to it) is restful, intentional, and full of joy!

All my love,


Ashley McClintock Photography

Did you miss out on Christmas minis this year? Don't fret! I've got lots of minis planned for 2021 and you can even purchase a 2021 Mini Session Pass to save you some mu-lah *(Coming Soon!)*

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