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Managing Holiday Stress

Holiday time can be a stressful time. Even more so this year as we are figuring out what the holidays will look like in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. So many questions looming like, “what will we do?”, “Can we get together with friends and family?”, “Should we stay indoors or celebrate outdoors?”, “What about the kids, how do we talk to them about what the holidays may look like?” However, managing holiday stress doesn’t have to be impossible.

As we all watch the news, listen to health experts, read articles, and do our own research, we are looking for the answers to these questions. While I don’t have the answers to all of these questions, I can provide some tips to help make the holidays less stressful.

holiday decorations a snowman and a snow child

Holiday Tips

Plan ahead

Have a plan in place of what you’ll do for each holiday; focus on only one at a time as each gets closer and there is more COVID-19 guidance available.

Have a plan B in place

Things can change last minute or not work out as we had hoped; having a backup can help ease the last-minute stress of what to do.


Plan gatherings that follow the current COVID-19 guidelines to help reduce risk, stay healthy, and keep others healthy.

Don’t forget activities for kids

kids playing with fun activities for kids

Have activities planned for kids to keep them busy; these can be things like help with setting up, decorations, table settings, arts and crafts, meal prep, and clean up.

Social stories and visuals

Individuals with ASD may have difficulties with the changes that take place during holidays; use social stories and visuals leading up to the holiday to prep for these changes; include who might be present, smells, sounds, routine changes, and anything else that may help with the changes.

And remember to enjoy and have fun! Check out our other blogs for a list of fun family activities.