Prayer For Holiday Stress
4 Great Ways to Reduce Holiday Stress (These Really Work!)
Guest post by Mary at healthychristianhome.com
“Not another holiday party,” I groan as I open our latest invitation.
After the ornament swap, my introverted self would be tired and ready to hunker down with a cheesy Hallmark movie and a mug of cocoa. Instead, we are scheduled for an evening party just hours after the morning one ends.
I feel less than jolly. And guilty. After all, these are Christian brothers and sisters I love spending time with. I should be happy!
Can you relate?
If you’re trying to conjure up holiday cheer to survive the constant hubbub of activity, this post is for you.
Is it Wrong for Christians to Feel Stressed?
I’m not a huge fan of Christian leaders telling people that faith eliminates stress altogether. Many authors and teachers say things , “When you are anxious or stressed, you are not trusting God. That is sin.”
Personally, I think this is a great disservice to many Christians. Of course, we should do our best to trust God and give our worries to Him in prayer. But to think we can stop stress completely (especially during the holidays) ignores the fact that we are human.
Even our Lord experienced stress – remember those drops of blood as He was praying in the garden? Paul did also:
“And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches”
–2 Corinthians 11:28
So, we can conclude that there is good anxiety (the pressure of being human and dealing with life struggles) and bad anxiety (giving in to worry and distrusting God).
Let’s be realistic and just admit that the holidays are stressful for many people – yes, Christians included. But we shouldn’t stop there. God has given us everything we need to cope.
As Christians, God actually helps us deal with holiday stress. Let’s look at 4 practical actions we can take to beat stress and enjoy the season!
1. Stop People-Pleasing
People-pleasing tendencies are often to blame when the holidays feel stressful. Do you really need to attend every single social event you are invited to? Do you really need to buy your kids expensive gifts so you’ll feel a good mom?
Galatians 1:10 states:
“For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.”
With every holiday invite or expectation, ask yourself: Is this activity a blessing to me and my family? Does it add joy?
If not, maybe you need to re-evaluate your motives for participating in said activity. After all, one of the best parts of the holidays is spending time with those you love. If you’re not enjoying the season, something needs to change.
Even Jesus said no to things. If you’re doing things simply because it’s expected or you’re comparing yourself to others, it’s time to dial down your holiday schedule.
**Related: Constantly Comparing Yourself to Others? Here’s How to Stop
2. Live One Day at a Time
Sometimes, the main reason we feel stressed is because we are projecting into the future and trying to figure everything out. It’s great to be organized, but many times overthinking does more harm than good.
It’s amazing the amount of things I am able to handle when they happen in the moment. I bet you’re the same way.
Think about your life. When unplanned things happen, you deal with them extremely well, don’t you? That’s because God equips you to do more than you think you can.In contrast, when you look at your full calendar weeks in advance and ruminate over it, you might start to panic about getting everything done.
“When will I have time to clean the house? When will I wrap all the presents? I haven’t even started shopping yet!”
Matthew 6:33-34 reminds us,
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
If you approach the holiday season one day at a time, God enables you to handle anything that comes your way.
But here’s the catch: He doesn’t enable you to handle the entire holiday season in one day! That’s not the deal.
If you need some practical tips on how to slow down and enjoy life more, read this post.
3. Serve Others First
It’s humbling how serving others completely shifts our perspective under stress. Meeting people less fortunate and lending a helping hand makes us realize that our small stressors are really blessings.
Create a new family tradition of service this year. Organize a gift drive for a struggling family, hand-deliver cards to nursing home residents, serve at a soup kitchen, or make cookies and leave them in hospital waiting rooms.
Whatever you decide, this will keep your focus on what really matters in life and cause you to count your blessings and overflow with thanksgiving to God.
Related: 52 Acts of a Kindness for a more Charitable New Year
4. Prioritize Quiet Time with God
Keeping your bible study and prayer time at center stage, no matter how busy you are, is the #1 thing you can do to reduce holiday stress. When stress begins to mount, ask yourself: “Have I prayed about it?”
When I put off quiet time because I am “too busy,” I notice that I get frustrated more easily and that little things bother me more.
Hebrews 4:12 explains how God’s Word keeps our attitudes in check:
“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”
If you feel overwhelmed when you open your Bible and just read the first page that falls open, the “Woman After God” Printable Pack will help you zero in on what to study. It also includes prayer prompts to enhance your relationship with God.
When you keep your relationship with God strong, it changes your attitude. You’ll be a lot less ly to yell at the kids when they bicker or melt down because you burned the Christmas cookies.
Do you find the holidays stressful or joy-filled? What helps you keep things in perspective?
Mary Harp is mom to the two sweetest boys you’ve ever met and wife to her best friend, Richard, a minister near Birmingham, AL.
She runs a blog about wellness and faith called Healthy Christian Home. When she’s not chasing her boys or blogging, you can find her with a stack of books and a cup of hot tea.
Grab her free daily self care rituals checklist here or follow on , Instagram, or Pinterest.
The Seven Ways to Holiday Stress Proof Your Marriage
Don’thaveyourheadphones or a private place to listen right now? Read the script here:
#1 Sleep, or else.
(0:00) Number one, get some sleep! (Because no one s being around a Grinch.) No, but seriously, think about what you’re when you don’t get any sleep. You are more emotional. You get angry easier.
You eat way more food, which we’ll get to in a bit. But, everything gets off-kilter when you don’t sleep. I could go on for an hour about how much sleep matters, but I’d rather you use that time to sleep. So, just trust me.
Number one, get some sleep.
#2 It’s cold, dark, and cozy..but Stay Active!
(0:35) Number two, stay active. During the holidays, it’s cold outside. There’s so much stuff to do. It’s dark all the time. There are all these excuses of why you don’t want to stay active, why you’d rather stay in bed, cuddle on the couch by the fire, and drink hot chocolate. But, it’s not going to help you manage your stress during the holiday season.
Yes, there’s time to relax, spend with family, and cuddle up by the fire with a good book and some hot chocolate. But, you also need to get this “energy” you. Stay active. Go for a walk. Join a gym. Go to some yoga classes. Do crossfit. I don’t care what you do. But, do something to stay active.
#3 Mindful Eating: Get Your Nutrients
(1:23) Number three, eat right. I know what you’re thinking…“How am I supposed to eat right during the holidays when there’s my mom’s favorite cake, and my cousin’s famous whatever-it-might-be-chocolate-covered-sausage-balls..?!!”
I don’t know what it might be for you. But, here’s what you need to know. If you just focus on eating your greens, eating your protein, getting a good salad, and getting some good vegetables in during the meal, then you can reward yourself with a dessert at the end. You don’t have to eat a dessert every day.
You don’t have to eat the heavy casseroles every day. But, focus on getting good nutrients in. Focus on not eating when you’re bored or just because it’s there, but only when you’re hungry. And, you’ll find that you can actually get through the holidays without gaining some weight. I’m not asking you to start a new diet.
I’m just saying be mindful of what you’re eating.
#4 Think About What You’re Thinking About
(2:24) Number four, think about what you’re thinking about. Here’s what that means. Especially during the holiday season, we’re bombarded with messages from society, Hollywood, and social media saying that what we have isn’t enough. We need to get the brand new TV, the brand new Apple product, the brand new whatever-it-might-be.
Or, we’re seeing all of these pictures of our friends who are having these amazing holiday get togethers and how happy they are with their husbands and their wives, and we can feel we are “less-than.”
, our marriages aren’t good enough. our stuff isn’t good enough. our kids are little punks, and they’re not good enough. Deep breaths. Think about what you’re thinking about.
If you’re constantly in that negative state of emotion, thinking about the negative, or thinking about how what you have isn’t enough, it’s going to translate into how you act. As a man thinks in his heart, so he is, (is the way that the saying goes).
So, make sure that what you’re thinking about is positive, is exciting, or happy. Yes, we have to deal with negative things too, but overall we can choose to be optimistic and to have a positive mindset.
#5 Treat Others as You Would to be Treated
(3:42) Number five, give grace. I don’t know about you, butI tend to judge myself by my intentions and others by their actions. Here’s what I mean by that.
I might fully intend to take my trash outside to the trash can by the road on my way to work…but, I get in a rush. I don’t have time. I have to get out the door quickly, because I’m late for a meeting, and I’m able to give myself grace. Because I said, “You know? I wanted to.
I intended to. But, I just didn’t get to. I’ll do it later.”
But, if my husband were to do the same thing, if he were to run out the door because he was late, but he didn’t do the trash…it’s easier for me to look at that and say, “I can’t believe he didn’t do that.” I’m judging him by his actions. But, I would’ve judged me by my intentions.
When things that happen, what I want you to focus on is to try and see it from the other person’s point of view. It’s not always going to be the trash.Maybe it has to do with finances, parenting, kids, a work party, or whatever it might be. Be gracious. Don’t just start accusing them for not doing something, or whatever it might be. Be gracious in your response.
Be gracious in your perception of the people around you.
Choose to believe that they’re good people and that they want to do good things.
Choose to have that mindset, and watch your mouth. It’s very easy when we’re angry to just start attacking people. It’s easy in that situation- when my husband comes home from work after not taking the trash out for me to say, ”Do you expect me to do everything around here? All you had to do was take the trash out. Seriously, it’s not that hard.” I could’ve said that.
But, is that going to lead us towards having a good evening, a productive conversation? Is it going to make our relationship better?
The answer is: no. I can have that same conversation in a completely different light where I say, “Hey babe. Let’s work on being a team. Let’s work on doing things together. What’s a better way that we can do that?” That’s a better way to have that conversation.
#6 Put Your Family at the Top of the List
(6:00) Number six, prioritize family time. During the holidays, you are going to be stretched and pulled and pushed 1,801 different ways. There’s work. There’s school parties. There’s deadlines.
There’s finance stuff going on. There’s your own things that you’re trying to get done: Christmas shopping, cooking, and cleaning; all of it can be so overwhelming.
And, it can be so easy to push your family to the bottom of the list.
“Oh, I’ll spend time and watch Christmas movies with my kids when I get everything else done.” I want to encourage you to flip that upside down.What if everything else became second, and time with your family became first?
“I’m going to spend time with my family.And, I’ll figure out a way to get everything else done when I’m done with that.” Prioritize your family.
#7 An Example of Giving- not “Getting”
(6:56) And, finally, number seven, focus on giving rather than “getting.” A few years ago my family (my immediate family, my parents, my husband, all of us) said, “We really don’t need anything else. Yeah. There’s fun stuff that comes out. But, if there’s anything we need, I mean, honestly we could get it. We don’t have to get presents for Christmas.”
So instead, we decided that we would take that same energy and money that we would’ve used to buy all these presents, run around town, this/that or the other, and give it to the people who need it instead. And, not just around the holidays, but spending time throughout the year to do that.
Then, on Christmas Day we celebrate that. We celebrate the things that we’ve been able to give back, the missions we’ve been able to support.
I can’t tell you how amazing and NOT at ALL stressful it is when your focus for the season is: “How much can I give?” And, not worried about what I’m going to get, especially when I’m thinking about my relationship, my marriage.
When I change that focus to “What’s my husband gonna get me? What is my wife gonna get me? Is it gonna be enough? Are they gonna get me the right thing?” Which, can lead to a lot of other frustrations when that doesn’t go well..
But, when I shift my focus to, “What can I give?” Everything is put into perspective, and it makes the holiday season so much better.
So, that’s it, the seven tips to holiday stress proof your marriage. Do them.
I can’t tell you how important it is to protect your marriage, to protect your family during the holiday season, because the stress is going to come on strong.
Follow our channel [on ] for more tips for your marriage and give us a call at Marriage Helper at (866) 903-0990. Whatever we can do for your marriage, we’re here for you. Happy Holidays! See you soon.
For more help, get this free download: 7 Keys To Fixing Your Marriage During The Holidays
8 Tips To Manage Holiday Stress
This time of the year, the words holiday and stress often go hand in hand.
Although stress is something we may have to deal with on a daily basis, this festive season comes around only once a year.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could start feeling less stressed as these special days approach?
The hustle and bustle of holiday preparations, office parties, and pre-holiday gatherings have a way of filling up our already busy schedules. We suddenly have even more we need to do—so of course we are feeling stretched to our limits!
The stress we are experiencing is a normal response to pressure. It is how we manage the stress that makes all the difference in the world between feeling anxious over our to-do list and being excited for the preparatory activities and celebrations to come.
While we might not be able to free up our schedules, we can certainly release some of the holiday stress we are feeling in a healthy, mindful way.
No matter how busy you are, spend 5 minutes first thing every morning sitting quietly with yourself, letting the thoughts in your mind come and go by focusing on the breath. This gives your mind a chance to find your heart.
Related: Why Meditate? The Minimalist Guide To Meditation
Then, when you enter into your day, you will be connected within, ready to face the tasks of the day with your mind, body, and heart in alignment. You will feel complete.
2. Practice “focused attention.”
Throughout the day, focus your attention and be in the moment. When your mind starts to wander to the past or future, bring it back to the moment—to your intention to experience the spirit of the season.
The holidays remind us to honor, be present, and celebrate who we are as individuals, as families, and as part of our communities. So remember: when your head starts spinning and your heart starts racing, gently bring your attention back to the spirit of this beautiful holiday season.
3. Be mindful.
Getting the house ready for guests might sound a chore, but when you approach it as a mindful activity, it can be just as rewarding as when your guests come through your door.
Related: 7 Mindfulness Techniques That Are Helping Me Battle My MS
As you clean, cook, decorate, and make other preparations, fight off holiday stress by focusing on the selfless generosity of your actions and the wonderful opportunity you have to care for your home, yourself, and those you love.
4. Express gratitude.
If you get overwhelmed by the thought of finding the perfect gifts for everyone on your list, remember that your presence is much more valuable than the presents you give.
Create a thoughtful list of those you purchase gifts for, and jot down a few notes about how each person on your list has touched your life in a positive way.
Then, along with whatever gift you give, include a note expressing your gratitude for his or her special place in your heart.
5. Find the humor.
Shakespeare said all the world’s a stage, so keep this in mind as you get in full swing with the hustle and bustle of the season.
Seek out opportunities to be entertained by your fellow players on whatever stage you are on: whether in the grocery store, in long lines at the mall, following services, at the dinner table, or at the office party.
Seize opportunities to laugh with others and imbue your experiences with a delightful sense of levity. Really lighten up!
Related: 24 Things That Will Make You Laugh (Even If You’re In A Bad Mood)
6. Look for the middle ground.
When some families get together, even for joyful occasions, disagreements have a tendency to erupt. Anticipating unrest can certainly be a big producer of holiday stress!
If this describes your family, set the intention to remain neutral at the family gathering and keep your “buttons” in the “off” position. While this might feel a tall order, know that a daily meditation practice can help you accomplish this.
7. Focus on abundance.
Especially around holiday time, it might feel you are squeezing the very last cent your budget.
Aside from taking actual steps to balance your budget, worrying about your finances will not bring you into an easy, joyful mood, nor will it help your finances. Worry never helps!
When you find yourself stressing over your expenses, refocus your attention instead on what is abundant in your life, such as the love of family and friends, the comforts of home, enough food to eat, and whatever else makes your life possible.
Related: 5 Fool-Proof Methods To Find Inner Peace
8. Let go of expectations.
We often think that if we do and prepare everything just so, the celebratory gatherings will go according to our expectations.
But let’s revisit Shakespeare here for a moment. He said, “Expectation is the root of all heartache.”And how right he is! If anything goes wrong when our expectations are high, we can be negatively affected.
The lesson here is to approach the upcoming days without expectations. While you may still prefer things go your way, this slight change in vocabulary can be the difference between a humorous chuckle and tears.
Do you detect a theme in all eight of these tips for managing holiday stress? It is all about changing your perspective.
The stress is not going to go away, but you do not have to fall under its pressure.
You can look at the days ahead as beautiful opportunities to practice mindfulness, focused attention, gratitude, joy, balance, and letting go. After all, isn’t that what the holidays are all about?
Author Barb Schmidt is founder of Peaceful Mind Peaceful World, a community outreach program through Florida Atlantic University (FAU) designed to promote dialogue in the greater community on the topic of inner peace.
Barb is also the founder of Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life, a non-profit organization through which she teaches The Practice, a three-part guide to practical spirituality in the modern world and her tool for spreading her belief that “outer peace begins with inner peace.”
Photo by martinak15 christmas, fall, featured, holiday stress, thanksgiving, winter
8 Prayers for Anxiety and Stress Relief
Anxiety and stress can really get the best of us sometimes. The more we dwell on the bad things, the worse we feel energy wise and health wise. Here are 8 prayers that you can pray in different situations of life’s troubles and problems.
Dear Omnipotent Father, the Almighty, all powerful God, give me strength today through all of my health issues. I pray that You will eradicate the diseases plaguing me this day. I feel weak and useless.
You have the power to do as You please gracious Father, and I pray that Your will be done. If You will that my back pain goes away or stays, I will obey You, Lord.
If You will that my migraines get stronger or go away, I will love and honor You this day. Amen.
Gracious, Heavenly Father, You already know the worries on my heart. I pray that You will give me the peace that passes all understanding in the trials that are ahead.
I am scared about what the future holds in my career, family and finances. I give these worries to You Father and ask that You will carry me through this difficult time. Your agape love surpasses all love that I could possibly give.
I thank You and praise You for Your patience with me. I love you Father! Amen.
Father in heaven, I fear for the doors that may be closing in my life. I have a good job, but the company is cutting back. I pray that if I am fired that You will open a new door for me.
I pray that You will provide me the exact outlet You want me to be in to do Your will. I pray that You will provide me a job that will still pay for my mortgage and feed my spouse and children.
You are gracious Father, and I have experienced many blessings from You in my life. I am thankful for all that You have done for me. Amen.
I will obey You Father no matter what.
Holy God in heaven, I come to you now with a heavy heart. You already know that I have been screened for skin cancer and You already know the results. I pray Father that the results will give me a clean bill of health.
But if they don’t, I pray Lord that you would free me of this disease and heal me completely. I will obey You Father no matter what. You are omniscient and know what is best for me; that is why I love You so much.
I praise Your Name, O Holy God! Amen.
Lord, I am scared about the bills this week Father. I was not expecting the car to break down requiring $800 in repairs. Lord I don’t know how I am going to make it this month.
I pray that You would provide me necessary means to make up the extra money in side work. If not side work, I pray that You will provide the money somehow. I trust in You completely Father and I will declare your grace and mercy because You are good, Lord.
You are faithful. You are abounding in love! I love you, Father! Amen.
Salvation for Loved ones
Father, You know the agony I am in over my brother. He refuses to believe in You and I am scared that he may never. Lord, please give me an opportunity to talk with him when he will actually listen. I don’t want to be in heaven without him Father.
I love him so much! Please hear my distress and anguish! My heart is breaking for him every single day that goes by. I pray that he will receive salvation, Lord, no matter from who tells him the gospel.
In Jesus is life and I want so badly for my brother to experience the life-changing power of the cross. I love You, Abba, Father! Amen.
The Thorns in my Flesh
Oh patient Father, I am so thankful that You love me. Lord, I pray that you will help me to be patient with my co-workers that defile Your Name every single day. Lord, I pray that You will soften their hearts to receive the message of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. I cannot stand hearing them speak Your name in vain, Father.
I pray that You will fill me with overwhelming joy that I can sustain the depravity that is before me. You are amazing, Father, for being patient for as long as You have with all of mankind. I pray that I will be patient with the mankind that I come in contact with on my short time here on earth.
You are worthy of all praise! Amen.
Lord, you know my situation. I want so badly for You to bring a suitable mate into my life. Lord, I love You with all of my heart and I want a partner that feels the same way.
I do not want to be unequally yoked and I pray that You will give me discernment to know when to run away and when to stay. I will continue faithfully in obeying You, Father, no matter the outcome.
You know what is best for me and I will gladly follow where You lead me with my anxiety over this issue. I love You, Father! Amen.
One fact of life for God’s children is that we all face trials, troubles and tragedies at some point. I hope you are encouraged by the fact that God loves you so much and He is always there to listen when you pray through all of life’s tribulations. God bless you as you live a life worthy of the calling!
Bible verses about anxiety
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as: Anxiety, Prayers, Stress
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