Are you feeling a little overwhelmed this Christmas season? If you are don’t feel alone. Many, if not most people experience huge amounts of stress this time of year. Everything from money to relationships is pushed to the breaking point during a time of year when we should be focusing on relaxing and being rejuvenated. Why is it that when we should be experiencing the ultimate in feeling good we are as whacky as a squirrel caught in a dryer?

Webster’s definition for overwhelm is to cover over completely or to totally submerge. When you and I are overwhelmed we have become totally consumed with our situation; we are drowning and are unable to function.

 Let me ask you a question. If you and I were at a swimming pool and told you that I wanted you to drink the entire pool of water, what would you think? There are 10,000 gallons there and I want you to consume every drop.  I have no doubt you will look at me as if I just came from some other planet; 10,000 gallons! No one could ever consume that much H2O!

Would you be surprised to know that the average person drinks 10,000 gallons of water a year? Wow…sound like a lot? How do we do it? The answer is easy, one cup at a time. Our bodies were not created to drink 10,000 gallons all at once, but in order to stay alive and healthy we have to consume that much in a year.

The same is true for the things that overwhelm us. Like the body is not equipped to take on 10,000 gallons of H2O, our emotions are not wired to handle everything that is thrown at us at once. When we start thinking about all the things to do, bills to pay, kid’s events, or at times the speculation of what “might” happen, we start to short circuit. We are allowing ourselves to be submergedand more times than not, things that we have little control over.

So, how do we do it? How can we get through the holidays or any day as far as that goes, without drowning in the things that are yet to happen? Just like we consume 10,000 gallons of water; one glass at a time.


  • Make a Christmas budget
    • Know every person you want to buy for and how much you want to spend
    • Keep careful records each time you make a purchase and don’t compromise your boundaries
    • Budget for parties or any traveling you might be planning to do


  • Break out the calendar
    • Don’t take things as they come; have a plan
    • Determine what events you are willing to give your time to, pencil them in and don’t add any more
    • Keep a master calendar where everyone can see it that has everyone’s major events on it
    • Be sure to put times beside each event
    • Identify who needs to particpate in what; Using different colors is a good way to do this

Cooking & Family

  • Get ahead and don’t wait till the last minute
    • Make out your  menu and buy all the ingredients
    • Enlist family members to help cook
    • Don’t let those kids just sit around and watch…God gave them to you to put to work *smile*
    • Don’t over-do the decorations and fancy plates. Keep it simple.

Unexpected Add-Ons

  • While we are in the Christmas season and giving is the theme in the air that does not mean that you don’t draw boundaries
  • It is okay to say “No”
  • Don’t over commit your time, money, efforts or talents
  • Volunteer organizations will often peg your calendar out if you are not careful…again…it is okay to say no, even to a worthy cause


Most times we get overwhelmed it is because we don’t know what is coming or how  we will ever handle everything that is coming at us. If we want to be successful we need to take the straw out of the pool and start drinking one glass at a time. Our nature is often to ignore what is coming and hope everything works out. The end result is pure stress when we take that approach. We need to be strategic and specific in order to take charge of our lives and avoid that unwanted squirrly stress.

Share below how you overcome holiday stress?

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