Sex & Relationships

How to have a stress-free Christmas from start to finish

Four holiday survival tips to ensure you and your family have the happiest, most relaxed holiday season yet!

Man kissing woman in front of a Christmas tree

Photo: Getty Images

1. Get outside
Here’s a cold-weather pick-me-up: Winter actually helps us burn more calories and feel better, too. According to a study in Medicine & Science, our bodies work harder on chilly days, which ups the production of our feel-good hormones.

2. Enjoy every ritual
Whether it’s trimming the tree or lighting the menorah, taking time to indulge in seasonal rituals strengthens family ties, according to a study in the Journal of Family Psychology.

3. Block party
Party invitations piling up? “Commit to dropping in for an hour or so,” says Karyn GordonChatelaine relationship expert. But if you’re too exhausted to make the rounds, just be honest. “Let them know that the calendar is too full this year. Remember, it’s about doing the things you want to do.”

4. Make (just) enough time for family
Family time is always important, but so is not overextending yourself. Be proactive! “Around late November, send out a mass email to family members to let them know which dates you’ll be free,” says Gordon. “You can piggyback family events on the same day, too. Just remember to schedule a free day for yourself amid the holiday rush.”