Make the most of the season

John Koester

Lakes Area Youth Service Bureau

The holiday season is often viewed as a time of joy and sharing.  For many, however, the season is also associated with stress, exhaustion, and expense in terms of time and money.  Here is a collection of tips to help manage holiday stress:

Create a master “to-do” list.  Write down everything that needs to be bought, made, baked, etc.  This will give you a sense of control and an opportunity to review whether your plans are realistic.  Can anything be cut out or scaled down?

Be realistic about your holiday expectations. Decide what holiday events are most enjoyable and what events can be missed.  It’s okay to refuse invitations, particularly events you know will be stressful for you.  Attend events that will bring the most to your celebration of the holidays.

Schedule your activities in advance.  This can alleviate the stress of the last-minute hustle and crowd fighting.

Shop within your budget.  You can show love by giving something that is meaningful without spending a lot of money.  Also, try shopping on the Web or from catalogs if crowded malls cause you stress.

Take time to relax. Make sure you are doing the things that make you feel good during the holidays.

Play in the snow, stare at a crackling fire, share dinner with friends, drive around and look at lights, or sing carols.  Find joy in the season’s little treasures as well as the big ones.

If you are separated from family and friends, or have suffered the loss of a loved one, acknowledge your feelings of grief and loss and allow yourself to express these normal feelings.

The Lakes Area Youth Service Bureau wishes everyone a joyous and peaceful holiday season. If you are in need of additional services for stress or grief this season, call us at 651-464-3685.


The non-profit Lakes Area Youth Service Bureau exists to ensure the success of youth. Programs reflect the belief that youth will be successful when relationships are strong, families are involved, communities are caring, harmony is restored and youth have the skills and opportunities for citizenship. LAYSB serves all of Chisago County, plus the parts of Anoka and Washington Counties that are in the Forest Lake Area School District. For more information visit