9 Tips to Enjoy a Stress-Free Navidad

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By Giselle Balido

December 5, 2022

With the right attitude and these easy-to-implement tools, the holidays can be “the most wonderful time of the year.”

La Navidad es esa época del año que muchos esperan con ilusión… y que, seamos honestos, otros ven con un poco de aprensión. Although the season is meant to be a fun, enjoyable time with friends and family, the reality for many is that it brings added stress to an already busy life.

In fact, nearly half (48%) of Hispanic adults reported that their level of stress increases during the holidays, compared to 43% of white adults, 37% of Black adults, and 41% of all adults, according to a 2021 survey conducted by Morning Consult on behalf of the American Psychiatric Association (APA).

What do they stress about? Affording, finding, and securing gifts, and working long hours are at the top of the list. 

However, with the right attitude and tools, the holidays can be fun for all. These tips can help ensure you truly enjoy “the most wonderful time of the year!”

1. Plan Ahead.

If you’re hosting the holidays, stay organized by creating a menu ahead of time. Remember to take in consideration if there will be vegans/vegetarians in attendance, or anyone with specific food requirements. This can make grocery shopping easier and help you avoid last minute “corre-corres.”

RELATED: 3 Puerto Rican Vegan/Vegetarian Recipes for the Holidays

2. Share Duties.

Are you decorating, cooking, cleaning, and wrapping presents…? It’s no wonder you’re stressed! Try sharing your to-do list with other family members. And don’t hover to make sure everything is done perfectly. You can still have fun even when things don’t go exactly as planned. 

3. Learn to Say “No.”

Be realistic with how much you can handle. Family, friends and colleagues will understand if you can’t participate in every project or activity. 

4. Plan Your Spending.

Make a budget and stick to it. A gift doesn’t have to be pricey to be appreciated; it just needs to be thoughtful. Don’t buy gifts that you’ll be paying off for the rest of the year, and you’ll avoid a year of stress.

RELATED: 7 New Bilingual Children’s Books to Celebrate Navidad and the Holiday Season

5. Take Care of Your Needs.

In just one word: Relax. Turn on some uplifting or soothing music, light some candles or take time off, even if only 5 minutes, to take long breaths and exhale your stress. You may also take a nap, read a book or watch a funny movie. Laughing can relieve physical tension and stress. No wonder they call it “the best medicine!”

6. Keep Healthy Habits.

A short workout or a leisurely walk each morning can help invigorate you for the day ahead. Get enough sleep and eat healthy snacks like fresh fruit or vegetables. Before the big dinner, you might want to have a healthy snack so that you don’t go overboard on turrones, cheese or coquito.

7. Don’t Bottle Up Your Feelings.

Spending a holiday after a loss in the family can be difficult. It’s OK to take time to cry or express your feelings. If you feel lonely or isolated, seek out community, religious or other social events or communities. Most importantly, despite your best efforts, you may find yourself feeling persistently sad or anxious, plagued by physical complaints, unable to sleep, irritable and hopeless, and unable to face routine chores. If these feelings last for a while, talk to your doctor or a mental health professional.

8. Avoid Conflict by Respecting Differences.

Family members will have different viewpoints than your own, especially political opinions. Accepting these differences (your motto: ‘Everybody’s got a right to think differently’) will help you avoid arguments. If need be, set aside grievances until a more appropriate time for discussion. Be understanding if others get upset when something goes wrong. It could be that they’re feeling the effects of holiday stress and depression, too.

9. Be Realistic.

Don’t expect that everything will go perfectly or as planned. In other words, accept what is with grace and good humor. Be in the moment and learn to see the beauty in things as they are.

At the end of the day, the holidays are just a time for sharing and spending quality time with loved ones. It’s “the season to be jolly,” so make sure that, with these easy to implement tools, you, and everyone, will have una muy feliz Navidad.



  • Giselle Balido

    Giselle is Floricua's political correspondent. She writes about the economy, environmental and social justice, and all things Latino. A published author, Giselle was born in Havana and grew up in New Jersey and Miami. She is passionate about equality, books, and cats.



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