Community is the Cure for Christmas Stress


It’s December and that means winter holidays. There are several to choose from, including Christmas, since this is the season of celebration for cultures all over the world. But with the trappings of the holidays inevitably comes the stress. There is so much pressure to have a perfect holiday season that even the most emotionally healthy person can have a breakdown in the bleak midwinter.

I believe that community can be the perfect cure for stress during the Christmas season. Having a support network is essential to avoid depression, stress, and loneliness; all common emotions especially around the holidays.

Holiday stress can be caused by a number of triggers:

  • Travel
  • Work schedule
  • Family drama
  • Shopping
  • Weather

The first and most important thing is to acknowledge you own feelings. It is okay to feel sad or angry or frustrated by any part of the holiday season. The next step involves what you do about it.

Build your holiday community.

You don’t have to already live in a community to create your own holiday support network. Talk with friends, especially those who are in similar situations around this time of year, and come up with strategies to help one another.

  1. Someone to go with you to that holiday party you’re avoiding.
  2. Someone to talk to when you need moral support after a difficult conversation with a family member.
  3. A shopping buddy.
  4. Help each other decorate your homes.
  5. A network of people to help with snow shoveling, de-icing, or other winter weather related issues.
  6. Carpooling to different holiday events.
  7. A group to help you with holiday baking or cooking.
  8. Someone to celebrate the holidays with if family is gone or far away.

With a little community building you can create a holiday that will be joyful and less stressful. And these skills are the same ones that you need to cultivate in order to create a long term community situation. Think about all the things this could kick off in your life for the year to come.

We want to hear from you. How do you cope with stress around the holidays? Let us know in the comments or join the conversation over on Facebook.


  1. I wanted to tell you how much I enjoy your website and the blogs! The more I learn about living in community, the more enthused I am. It gives me hope for the future of aging. Thanks, Marianne for all you do.

Women For Living in Community