How to Navigate Holiday Stress (Episode 139)

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How to Navigate Holiday Stress (Episode 139)

Holiday stress is here and it’s real. Dr. Doni helps you support yourself through the holidays so you can enjoy the season even when it's stressful.
This week’s episode is all about helping you to support yourself through the holidays and events in your life, while making sure you’re able to take good care of YOU. This way you can feel good and enjoy these events and also recover easily when they are stressful.

Holiday stress is here and it’s real. This week’s episode is all about helping you to support yourself through the holidays and events in your life, while making sure you’re able to take good care of YOU through them. This way you can feel good and enjoy these events and also recover easily when they are stressful.

Studies show and we know from life experience that when we have these additional experiences or extras in our schedule (whether it’s the holidays or events in your life like a wedding planning or having a baby or even planning a memorial in your family) we experience stress.

This is because these are activities on top of everything else that’s happening in our lives. We still must keep up with our everyday jobs, our careers, running our homes, paying our bills, etc. 

Even though holidays are something we look forward to and we enjoy as part of taking a break and spending time with our loved ones it’s sometimes hard to enjoy them when we are feeling stressed.

So how do we navigate through holiday stress?

Well, we have to implement SelfC.A.R.E. (C for clean eating, A for adequate sleep, R for recovery activities and E for exercise).

First, we need to sit down to think about our schedules and write them down. This way we will have a clear idea of what we are spending our time on every day. Then we can jot down our priorities list. We then can re-organize our time to make sure we are putting ourselves high on that list. 

If we are not taking good care of ourselves we are not going to be able to take care of anybody else. Here is where I like to use my SelfC.A.R.E. Notebook, where I keep track and write down the important things that I hope to accomplish every day. Then follow up, look at what worked and what didn’t, make some tweaks and then do it slightly different the next day. If you would like to start doing this you can get your own SelfC.A.R.E. notebook here:

Prioritizing ourselves takes time and practice. That’s why I want to help you with some tips, so you are able to do this. In my book Master Your Stress Reset Your Health I give you examples of a SelfC.A.R.E. routine, from the minute you wake up. Hour by hour I show you what you can do to take good care of yourself every day. If you would like to find out more you can get a copy here:

SelfC.A.R.E. for Holiday Stress

So how can we start implementing SelfC.A.R.E. in our lives? Let’s talk through some examples.

C for Clean Eating:

This is different for everybody as everyone may have a different starting point. For example, is there too much sugar in your diet? Well, this is creating a blood sugar rollercoaster in your system. If this is the case, I encourage you to start reading the labels of what you eat and drink and look for sugar on them and try to start cutting down on these foods. 

I also like to focus on protein in my meals. Whenever you are eating something ask yourself where is the protein? You can also add some healthy carbs and fats like vegetables and nuts to give you the energy you need throughout the day. 

What I also like to do is if I have an event or a party, I eat a healthy small meal before going out so I know I am fed and then I will not be eating whatever there is available at the event. 

For some next steps you can check out my 7 day SelfC.A.R.E. Stress Reset here: (, where I give you more tips and show you how to integrate them into your life in a way that’s doable and doesn’t stress you more. My goal is always to support you through stress, not add more to your life.

A for Adequate Sleep:

We have to start by setting a time to go to bed every day and stick with it. We also need to think about our pre-bedtime routine like do the dishes, brush our teeth, do some meditation or journaling, etc. 

We have to figure out what are the things we need to do to tell our nervous system and our bodies it’s time to wind down, relax and go to sleep so we can get at least 7.5 hours of quality sleep. 

If you’re not sleeping well, you can find some resources here:

R for Recovery Activities:

Sometimes when we are visiting family or loved ones, we lose track of our SelfC.A.R.E. routine. Here I encourage you to set out your schedule and even communicate it with your family and friends. 

For example, say “I would like to spend some time outside today and this is what I’m thinking about the timing, would you like to join me for a 20 min walk?” We all know how important it is for our health to spend time in nature and get some sunlight. This is really good for our circadian rhythm and resetting our stress response system. 

Also, things like journaling, meditation, mindfulness, singing, listening to music, playing instruments are all things that we can do in the company of others and that are good for reducing stress. 

E for Exercise:

You can just start with just 5 minutes a day if you don’t exercise at all. If you have an event later in the day you can schedule your exercise routine early in the morning so you get it done and out of the way. 

It could be any kind of physical activity like going for a walk, yoga, dancing, breathing, core strengthening, strength training or a short HIIT workout. The important thing is it needs to be something you like. 

In my book I show you how to tailor your exercise based on your stress type. If you don’t know your stress type yet you can take my Stress Type Quiz:


Dr. Doni Stress Quiz

The results of this quiz will give you so much information on how to master your specific kind of stress and the supplements you need to take. It will also show you how to implement SelfC.A.R.E. based on your unique type of stress.

So, if you’re getting ready to go to a holiday event I would recommend:

  1. Make sure to get that clean eating before heading out.
  2. Take a stress management supplement like GABA a natural non drowsy, non-addictive supplement based on nutrients that help buffer the stress. 
  3. Take an immune support supplement to avoid getting sick. If you do get a cold after the holidays you can find my cold and flu survival guide here: It will help you bounce back to your normal life as quickly as possible.
  4. If you choose to drink alcohol, make sure you drink plenty of water and take some NAC supplements to help you metabolize alcohol better. Also, probiotics have been shown to help counteract the effects of alcohol.

I am so glad you joined me here, please let me know if there is something you would like me to cover in more depth and make sure you join my newsletter and subscribe to the podcast.

You can also reach out to me to set up a one-on-one appointment if you prefer here:

As always, we’re here to help you! Happy holidays!!

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Disclaimer: This specific article and all other Content, Products, and Services of this Website are NOT intended as, and must not be understood or construed as, medical care or advice, naturopathic medical care or advice, the practice of medicine, or the practice of counseling care, nor can it be understood or construed as providing any form of medical diagnosis, treatment, cure, or prevention of any disease.

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Master Your Stress, Reset Your Health by Dr. Doni Wilson



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