The holidays are a nightmare if you get easily overwhelmed. Every year, I spend Christmas at my in-laws’. They are devout, mid-Western Christians. I am Jewish and from the East Coast. There are going to be differences of opinion. I love them and love to visit with them, but they’re not my family. I’m not sleeping in my bed. You know what I mean? Then there’s the dinner for nearly thirty people. Then there’s all the gift shopping for kids I don’t know. Everywhere you go, there are tons of people out. The malls are crammed with holiday shoppers. Everybody is impatient, tired, and stressed out. It is so easy to get overwhelmed. And, if you’re like me, you want everything to be perfect, and there is literally no time to get overwhelmed. By Christmas morning, I am ready to freak out and the slightest thing can overwhelm me.

So, here are some tips to help you keep everything under control:

Stick To Your Routine

My routines are what keep me grounded through crazy times. My daily morning routine is the one thing I can count on every day. Don’t let all the parties, alcohol, sugar, and fat mess with all those great, healthy habits you’ve worked so hard on all year. Sticking to them in between the parties is going to save you from yourself. Eat TONS of veggies and fruit to keep your digestive tract moving. Drink TONS of water to battle dehydration from the alcohol, extra salt in your food and the heat being cranked on. Your immune system is going to be fighting extra hard around all the extra germs and because all that unhealthy food and lack of sleep, so keep taking your vitamins. Maybe add some echinacea for an extra boost.

Keep it Simple, Stupid!

The platters I bring to parties are going to be super simple: veggies or fruit! The holidays are a time when people want to roll out their best, their prettiest, their fanciest versions of themselves. It would be wonderful to have the time for Martha Stewart recipes and handtied bowties, but showing up at a party with a fruit tray from Whole Foods and a necktie really will do. Do the kids REALLY need every single present individually wrapped as though it was done by the professional wrapper at Macy’s? No. They don’t care what the presents look like. In five seconds flat your house is going to be covered in shredded wrapping paper. Which leads me to my next point.

The fastest way to get overwhelmed is to be in a rush to get out the door to the school holiday concert and having to dig through a trashed house to find your car keys. I take fifteen minutes every morning to straighten my house before I leave it for the day. It just helps me mentally throughout the day, to know that back at home, everything is in order. It saves me hours of anxiety.

Deep Breath

I don’t do this often enough. I admit it.

The fact is that sometimes, life is just going to get to you. @hayleyhobson
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All the vitamins and clean living rooms in the world can’t stop a moment of utter chaos from getting to you. Before your brain explodes, stop.

Close your eyes. Take a deep breath. Let it out. Take another. Whip out your vial of lavender oil and rub some on your temples. Do a little two minute meditation.

I’ve gone to the bathroom before just to get away from a noisy, crowded house, and give myself a chance to breathe. If what you need the most is to get out, GO! Take a walk, breathe the fresh air. If you have the time, grab your mat and head to a yoga class.

Remember, the holidays only happen once a year. Don’t waste precious memories being too stressed out to enjoy them.

Hayley Hobson is an author, speaker, business coach, yogi, Pilates instructor, and holistic nutritional expert based in Boulder, CO. Her unique and intelligent style promotes strengthening while softening—empowering her clients to heal not only their physical bodies but their hearts and minds as well. To learn more about her nutritional courses, events, and custom programs, visit or follow her on Facebook or Twitter.