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The Christmas tree has been lit, you’ve started your Christmas list, and the house smells amazing. It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Unfortunately, the holidays can also be incredibly stressful. Somewhere between holiday shopping and family gatherings, you might find yourself battling a throbbing headache. Creating a memorable Christmas for my family means a lot to me, so I don’t have time to slow down. That’s why it’s so crucial to know exactly how to get my pain under control so I can keep going.


Exercising may be the last thing you feel like doing when you’re stressed out, but going for a run or hitting the gym can actually make you feel better. Research has found that workouts can boost your mood for up to 12 hours.


mother and toddler

Find A Little Time Alone

With four kids, it can be hard to find time for self-care, but when I’m feeling particularly overwhelmed, I make it a priority. While my husband is a great partner, I know my household runs much smoother when I’m feeling my best. Whether it’s a restorative bubble bath, a brisk walk around the block (bundled up, of course!), or even just a 15-minute coffee break, this “me time” can keep holiday stress at bay and leave me feeling rejuvenated.

Of course, there are natural alternatives to stress relief out there too. One of my friends uses products such as hemp oil to manage her mental health and ease the symptoms of her stress and anxiety. It’s really about finding what works for you to curb the stress and pain during the holiday season.


If your anxious, listen to your favorite music. Research from the University of Maryland shows that hearing music you love can relax blood vessels and increase blood flow.


girl drinking lattelily tomlin quote

Set Boundaries For Your Own Sanity

Over the years, I’ve also learned the importance of setting healthy boundaries. Many of us struggle with wanting to be everything to everyone and, this time of year, the requests can really pile up. Before you know it, you may have more commitments than you can handle, leading to even more holiday stress and pain. It’s not easy to say no to people, and we all like to feel like superheroes, but sometimes you’ve got to hang up your cape.

Have you listened to my podcast? Check out The Mom Confidential!


Researchers studying depression have found that certain citrus fragrances boost feelings of well-being and alleviate stress by upping levels of norepinephrine, a hormone that affects mood.


toddler with blue tongue

What to Know About Over-The-Counter Medicine

No matter how hard I try, there are days when my life comes to a complete standstill because my head is pounding. In those moments, I’m grateful for effective over-the-counter pain relievers. With so many products on the market, though, it can be hard to know what to take. Are gel caps more effective? Do I really need extra strength? Acetaminophen or Ibuprofen? You might be tempted to grab whatever seems best (or cheapest!). But, when it comes to your health, it’s better to make an informed decision.

KnowYourOTCs.org has come up with a great solution for busy moms on-the-go. In under two minutes, their new personalized pain reliever tool will consider any specific health circumstances you might have, your lifestyle, and any current medications you’re taking before providing guidance on the best pain reliever for you. It’s almost like having your own personal pharmacist!


The fleshy place between your index finger and thumb is called the hoku spot in traditional Chinese medicine. Applying firm pressure there for just 30 seconds is believed to reduce stress and tension in your upper body.


mother and toddler by tree

When to Speak to a Medical Professional

We tend to be more cautious when it comes to our children but, as parents, we need to take care of ourselves, too. Always be sure to read the drug facts label on anything you purchase to better assess the personal risk factors associated with the various OTC pain relievers. If in doubt, speak to a medical professional before taking any medication.

It’s true that there’s no place like home for the holidays, but while you’re working overtime to make sure your loved ones are filled with good cheer (and good food!), be sure to make time for yourself. Step away for a few moments when you need a break. And remember to set healthy boundaries to keep your holiday stress levels and pain under control. If you still find yourself battling a headache, take comfort in knowing that an OTC pain reliever can help. Again, don’t forget to read the labels and always use KnowYourOTCs.org’s personalized tool to find the relief that will help you have the holiday season you deserve!

Check out all my holiday health tips on the City Girl Gone Mom Pinterest board!


Constant cell phone buzzes and email alerts keep us in a perpetual fight-or-flight mode due to bursts of adrenaline. Not only is this exhausting, but it contributes to mounting stress levels, especially in women.


woman at christmas table

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3 thoughts on “How to Manage Holiday Stress & Pain This Christmas”

  1. Hello. Thanks for such an informative and really helpful article. I think this information needs to be disseminated much more, it can help many people who are under stress. For me, as for many of you, the last year turned out to be very stressful, and even the holidays did not make me feel good, but stress. Although before, Christmas in our family was very cozy and fun. Now it seems to me that after the holidays we urgently need a vacation in order to really relax. Thanks for your great advice.

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