5 Things to Do Now to Have a Carefree Holiday Season

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5 Things to Do Now to Have a Carefree Holiday Season

Dealing with holiday stress doesn’t have to be a reason to dread the holidays.  Today I’m sharing my plan to have a carefree holiday season.

I’d like to thank my friends at Pure Protein for sponsoring this post.  Thanks for supporting companies like Pure Protein that support Running in a Skirt.  As always, all opinions are my own.

Dealing with Holiday Stress - 5 Things to Do Now to Have a Carefree Holiday Season

Hi everyone,

So I KNOW it’s just mid-October and it might feel a little early to be talking about the holidays.  But if you’re a slave to a planner like I am, Halloween is just around the corner and Thanksgiving is less than 40 days away.  And the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas feels like it gets shorter and shorter with each passing year.  Sadly, I start thinking about the upcoming holidays and the older I get the more they stress me out.  There is so much that needs to get done that I’ve honestly started thinking about how nice it would be to just skip to January.  Isn’t that awful?

This year I want to do things differently.  I’ve decided to put together a plan to start chipping away at tasks now so once the actual holidays roll around they aren’t that stressful and I can actually go back to enjoying the season.  Hopefully it will make dealing with holiday stress a cinch this year.  Bring on all the ELF movie repeats. 

I had a feeling many of you might feel the same way, so I thought I’d share my plan with you.

5 Things to Do Now to Have a Carefree Holiday Season

Get Back on Track with Fitness & Healthy Eating

Summer travel had my workout and fitness routines all over the place.  And then on top of that I broke my elbow, so I wasn’t cooking or working out as much as I’d like.  So I’m using Fall to get back on track with fitness and healthy eating before the holiday rush hits.  I’ve also been falling back in love with running.

This may not seem directly related to having a carefree holiday and dealing with holiday stress, but I know that when I’m feeling my healthiest, I’m much more capable of handling all the extras Thanksgiving and Christmas throws at me.  Getting healthy doesn’t happen overnight, so it’s best to start now.  I’ll also feel less stressed out about enjoying all the extra holiday eats if the rest of my diet is where it needs to be.

As I’m getting back into running longer consistently, I know I also need to increase my protein intake post run.  Pure Protein® bars are a great fueling option to keep on hand because they are packed with high quality protein, an essential ingredient for recovering after long runs and getting stronger.  They are perfect for a post run refuel on the go.

They come in fun flavors like Chocolate Peanut Butter…

… Chocolate Salted Caramel, Dark Chocolate Coconut, Chewy Chocolate Chip, Chocolate Deluxe and Chocolate Peanut Caramel.

Having them on hand is a great way to keep full and deal with runger.  Pure Protein® bars are versatile and perfect for when you are busy and don’t have time to make something homemade.  Each bar has 19-21 grams of protein with 6 grams or less of sugar, which is just what I’m looking for in a bar.  They are also gluten free.  The Dark Chocolate Coconut Bar only has 1 gram of sugar.

Making small changes in your diet and exercise plan now can go a long way in helping you deal with holiday stress later.


Christmas Shopping

I know…. I can’t believe I just typed that either but Christmas shopping is the one thing that stresses me out the most during the holidays.  Despite my best efforts, I always seem to be getting and wrapping gifts at the last-minute.  This year my goal is to get the shopping done before Thanksgiving AND do the wrapping in the first week of December.

Dealing with holiday stress! 7 Practical Ways to Reduce Holiday Stress this year AND actually enjoy the season. / Running in a Skirt

Who wants to accept this challenge with me?  Let’s find the joy in the whole process again.  So basically this is my notice to my family that I need your Christmas lists now. 🙂

Confirm Your Travel Plans

It might feel early to make holiday travel plans, but now is the best time to decide what you are going to do this year and where you are going to travel.  Planning ahead means everyone knows what is going on and there are no surprises or last-minute hurt feelings… which is a big cause of holiday stress.


Make Christmas Cards

I feel like as organized as I am about some things, I should be on top of Christmas cards, but I’m not.  I’m embarrassed to admit how many of my cards have gone out closer to New Year’s than Christmas.  This year I’m going to decide on a design and get them printed early so I don’t have to worry about it in December.  Once again… who’s with me?

This is last year’s card, which is making me so sad!

Family Photo Thanksgiving 2016


Block off Downtime & Be OK with Doing Less

One of the reasons the holidays ends up being so stressful is how many commitments I say yes to.  It’s my own fault and it’s got to stop.  Between hosting Thanksgiving and having some sort of holiday party to attend every few nights, the season quickly gets overwhelming for me.

This year I’m making some changes.  The first is I’m taking a one year break from hosting Thanksgiving.  I love doing it, but last year I felt more stress about it than joy… which is not like me at all.  I’ve done it five times and the Hubs and I decided a change of pace was in order this year.

So we talked our crew into renting a beach house at Hilton Head and eating out instead of doing the normal routine.  Doing less is already working out great for me.  I feel like a year off from hosting is just what I need to find the joy of Thanksgiving again and feel excited about doing it again next year.

And I’m hoping to talk a group into running the Turkey Trot with me, so I’ll be bringing some Pure Protein® bars to enjoy!

I’m also committing to only doing two holiday events a week.  If more than that come up, I will politely decline.

AND, if you want to save on Pure Protein® products, use coupon code PPSAVE17 for $1 off on Amazon.


So that’s how I’m dealing with holiday stress NOW to make the season more carefree!  I hope some of you will join me on my quest.


Like this post?  Pin this to your favorite Pinterest board.

Dealing with Holiday Stress - 5 Things to Do Now to Have a Carefree Holiday Season

Pure Protein Bars

Don’t forget to check out Pure Protein® bars  the next time you are in the store.  I love how easy they are to find at most retailers and how you can even order them on Amazon.  If you are trying them out make sure to use my coupon code, PPSAVE17 for $1 off Pure Protein products.

If you need high protein, low sugar bar… Pure Protein Bars are just what you are looking for. Stock up now and put them in your purse and car so when the crazy holidays hit you’ll be armed with on the go high protein snacks!


Thanks for stopping by today and supporting posts like this.  Come back tomorrow for my super easy 4 ingredient Chocolate Covered Pumpkin Fudge.

Your turn!

Check out the Pure Protein site and let me know which flavor you like the most?

Who’s with me to get the holiday stuff done early this year?


I’m linking up with Thinking Out Loud Thursday.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Pure Protein. The opinions and text are all mine.

By | 2020-06-02T17:06:21-04:00 October 16th, 2017|Fitness, Healthy Living Tips, Running|43 Comments


  1. […] is flying, I’ve had a pleasant and calm week.  I actually followed some of my own advice in this post and have had my holiday shopping pretty much done since before Thanksgiving and I even ordered my […]

  2. Jordan October 25, 2017 at 1:39 pm - Reply

    I am guilty of getting way too stressed around the holidays. Definitely committing to chilling out this year! Love these tips.

  3. Chrystal Rose October 23, 2017 at 11:55 am - Reply

    Awesome tips! I can’t believe its that time of the year again. Christmas can be so stressful, but hopefully getting things done early can minimize that as much as possible.

  4. Farrah October 22, 2017 at 10:58 am - Reply

    So many tasty flavors! :D! I love that they have so much protein but arent laden with a whole ton of sugars! I’ll definitely have to keep my eyes peeled for em’ in the store! Good luck with the holiday planning! It’s coming up so fast!

  5. Emily Kyle October 18, 2017 at 8:48 am - Reply

    I am ready to accept the challenge! Each year I get a little bit better about not waiting until the last minute, and it has made all the difference! With Ran being 3 this year, I really want to enjoy as much Christmas magic as possible (without the stress!)

  6. Kristy from Southern In Law October 18, 2017 at 4:38 am - Reply

    These are such great tips! I’m all about being proactive instead of reactive

  7. Toughcookiemommy October 17, 2017 at 10:49 pm - Reply

    I’m trying to stay strong when it comes to healthy eating but I know the holidays are going to do me in. I hope I can have the willpower I need to push away from the table.

  8. Mikki October 17, 2017 at 3:16 pm - Reply

    Great tips for sure. Keeping fueled with good protein is a must

  9. Alisa Fleming October 17, 2017 at 2:30 pm - Reply

    Christmas creep on blogs – I love it! 🙂 These are great tips and I love getting them in my head before the rush hits. I definitely rely on bars when things get busy, too.

  10. Whitney E. RD October 17, 2017 at 1:45 pm - Reply

    Great tips! So smart of you to get the Christmas shopping done early. I am the worst at that and usually end up running around to the busy malls a couple of days before. I’m going to try to change that this year though!

  11. […] I’m taking a one year break from hosting Thanksgiving, I have now hosted it five times and have learned a lot from the process.  Honestly I had no idea […]

  12. Pam October 17, 2017 at 12:53 am - Reply

    I think getting back on track now with good eating habits and exercising is a smart thing. I need to make that my goal for the next several months.

  13. Annemarie LeBlanc October 17, 2017 at 12:28 am - Reply

    The holidays are fast approaching and I am taking these tips to heart. I hate it when I have to cram and stress myself out with last minute Christmas shopping. This year, I started buying gifts since August, taking advantage of discounts and sales. I am more than halfway through my Christmas shopping list and that makes me happy.

  14. Christina Bauer October 16, 2017 at 10:34 pm - Reply

    It’s crazy to think the holiday season is two months away! So these are great tips to avoid the stress of it all, completely. Cheers!

  15. Wendy October 16, 2017 at 8:38 pm - Reply

    The holidays really stress me out! I think a weekend at the beach would be a great alternative! My sister hosts Thanksgiving, so that helps. When you work in healthcare, holidays are always a challenge.

  16. Lorie October 16, 2017 at 8:18 pm - Reply

    My mother in law always starts her holiday shopping in August. I laugh at her, but that woman is never stressed around the holidays so maybe you guys are on to something!

  17. Rebecca October 16, 2017 at 8:10 pm - Reply

    what great tips! you’ve already calmed me down in preparation for all the holiday craziness

  18. Kalee October 16, 2017 at 7:55 pm - Reply

    I couldn’t agree more about getting back on track with healthy habits before the holidays kick in! I also love to Christmas shop this time of year -good deals and less crowds!

  19. Emily October 16, 2017 at 7:43 pm - Reply

    Great tips!! I am definitely going to start organizing my holiday season. What helps me is to simplify (less gifts) and create more time to just enjoy being with friends and family.

  20. Michelle Hartgraves October 16, 2017 at 3:34 pm - Reply

    I wish I was this organized! Great list. By the time the holidays are over, I am feeling pretty frazzled and need a vacation! Maybe I can get the in-laws on board with pizza for our Christmas dinner this year. I would rather make memories than have the perfect meal,

  21. Lisa Ballantyne October 16, 2017 at 3:31 pm - Reply

    What a great post Julie! Lots of excellent suggestions for combating the stress associated with what should be the happiest time of the year.

    Thanks too, for the info on the Pure Protein bars. I’m a Type 2 diabetic so the low carbs and low sugar are very appealing. My rule of thumb is “High Protein, Low Carb” and this seems to fit the bill. Of course consulting a doctor before trying them is a no-brainer for me.

    And on another note–I teared-up a bit at the photo including your precious Rhett. I know how much you loved him. Treasure those memories. <3

  22. Heather @Lunging Through Life October 16, 2017 at 2:38 pm - Reply

    Eeeek! Makes me excited and stressed, ha. I would love to get all my shopping done before Thanksgiving, but truthfully, I use Black Friday to get a lot of gifts. But my plan is to at least make a list of everything I need to buy so at least I have that mapped out. I was so on top of things last year and it made the holidays really nice. I also want to order my Christmas cards on Black Friday. I’m going to try for a family picture at my brother’s wedding this weekend and use that for our card, if it turns out, lol.

  23. Nicole @ Fitful Focus October 16, 2017 at 2:37 pm - Reply

    Great tips! I need to book my travel this week.

  24. Marina @ Happy Healing October 16, 2017 at 12:57 pm - Reply

    You are so organized – I need to act this way towards the holidays this year! Especially with getting back on track with fitness. I love Pure Protein bars and am excited to try the salted caramel one!

  25. Heather @ Kraus House Mom October 16, 2017 at 12:35 pm - Reply

    I have already started making my Christmas lists of who I need to buy for and what I’m going to get. I try to pack healthy snacks in my pink sparkly lunch bag when I know I’m going to be out most of the day so I won’t eat junk.

  26. Brandy October 16, 2017 at 12:19 pm - Reply

    Gosh, this is a great post, I can’t believe the holiday season is sneaking up, then again I think it sneaks up every year. Glad to have some tips to be prepared without stressing.

  27. Joline October 16, 2017 at 12:09 pm - Reply

    We actually started Christmas shopping last weekend! It’s never too early especially when there are good deals to be had. And we do love Pure Protein bars, especially after a workout!

  28. Neely Moldovan October 16, 2017 at 11:18 am - Reply

    I feel like when I got into the holidays on a good eating and working out regimen I tend to not cheat as much! loving these tips!

  29. Deryn | Running on Real Food October 16, 2017 at 11:09 am - Reply

    Can’t believe it’s that time of year again but this is actually so helpful..maybe for once I will get a head start on things! And I love the point about just chilling and doing less. So good. Thanks!

  30. Rachel October 16, 2017 at 10:47 am - Reply

    I think we’re skipping holiday cards this year. It’s one thing I don’t need to spend money on and stress out about, right? We’re traveling for Thanksgiving and I’m already stressed enough about that!

  31. Taylor Kiser October 16, 2017 at 10:42 am - Reply

    It’s hard to believe we’re at the holidays again! These are great tips to lower the stress that the holidays can bring!

  32. Sarah October 16, 2017 at 10:41 am - Reply

    Looks like I’m already ahead a little, or doing well anyways. Always like to get back on track with eating when the girls go back to school, of course having moments and this year a little less on top of things but that’s ok. Christmas photos scheduled for this weekend for our cards, and already thinking about Christmas gifts and even bought a couple this past weekend!

  33. Abbey Sharp October 16, 2017 at 10:30 am - Reply

    I can’t believe we’re already in the holiday season! Love all of your tips.

  34. ShootingStarsMag October 16, 2017 at 10:12 am - Reply

    Ooh, these bars sound really good. I love various aspects of the holidays but it really can be stressful. I’m usually doing so much better at this point when it comes to gifts, but I have nothing so far! I need to get on it.

  35. Laura October 16, 2017 at 9:30 am - Reply

    I’m actually looking forward to this holiday season very much! It’s our first as a family of 6 AND we aren’t traveling back home to Chicago. So we get to have a great, relaxing time celebrating this year! YAY!

  36. I have not even started to think about holidays yet although we are hosting Thanksgiving. Getting back on track with healthy eating this month does help

  37. [email protected] October 16, 2017 at 8:33 am - Reply

    I can’t Believe the holiday season is already approaching. It does stress me out a little when It should be a fun time of the year. I hope to get my Christmas shopping done early this year so I don’t have to worry about it later. One less thing.

  38. Maria Long October 16, 2017 at 8:26 am - Reply

    I love these pure protein bars, a lifesaver around the holidays when things get hectic. Great advice as well about tips to keep stress free.

  39. Dan Steadman October 16, 2017 at 8:21 am - Reply

    hey I have had Pure Protein bars after racing…I go chocolate PB…..I’m all for doing less this year, but going through a divorce, that may be easier said than done

  40. Beth Ann Chiles October 16, 2017 at 7:43 am - Reply

    Great ideas! We are hosting a small Thanksgiving this year but I am promising myself to not stress out!

  41. robin rue October 16, 2017 at 7:39 am - Reply

    My husband and I decided to go away for Thanksgiving, so that is one less holiday to worry about for us this year. I am looking foward to winging Thanksgiving dinner this year.

  42. Emily @ Pizza & Pull-Ups October 16, 2017 at 7:30 am - Reply

    That sounds like a fun way to spend Thabksgiving! I am an early Christmas shopper, I have already started with me smaller gifts.

  43. Mary Beth Jackson October 16, 2017 at 5:33 am - Reply

    Thanksgiving dinner is very stressful- I love your idea! Enjoy it!

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