Inner Grinch Prevention: 8 Simple Strategies for Less “Arghs” and More “Ahhs” This Holiday Season

There’s so much pressure associated with this time of year.

There’s the need to:

  • eat, drink and be merry
  • pick out the perfect present for everyone on your list
  • cheerfully attend holiday events

Then there’s the toll the holiday hustle and bustle can have on your body.

Running errands after work, attending holiday parties and traveling—on top of the typical day-to-day obligations—can lead to eating and drinking too much, exercising too little and spending too much money.

Given all of this, it’s no wonder very few people make it through the season without worry, guilt, resentment, dread and regret.

Remember: You always have a choice. You can do something so that the extra treats, travel, entertaining, shopping and other obligations don’t turn into an invitation for your Inner Grinch to steal your joy in the coming weeks.

So how can you enjoy the holidays and make the most of the coming weeks without your Inner Grinch stealing the joy out of your holiday?


8 Simple Inner Grinch Prevention Strategies


Inner Grinch Prevention Strategy #1: Reconnect with your breath

This is one of the quickest ways I know of to go from stressed out to blissed out during busy times. The more connected you are with your breath, the calmer you will be.

Take deep, centering breaths throughout the day. If needed, set a reminder on your calendar to help you.


Inner Grinch Prevention Strategy #2: Take care of your physical body

Just because you might be going to more social events than usual, it doesn’t mean you have to ditch all healthy behaviors.

  • Eat a healthy meal or snack before heading out to so you’re less tempted to overdo it with foods that drain your energy.


  • Keep a glass of water with you to help you stay hydrated throughout the day.


  • Alternate festive alcohol or sugary holiday drinks with a glass of water to not only stay more energized and engaged during the parties, but also minimize the impact of sugar and alcohol on your body.


  • Exercise and sleep are great energy boosters, so make it a point to get your body moving and prioritize rest so your sparkling personality can come through. If getting a full night’s sleep is difficult, consider adding 15-20-minute power naps to your day.


Inner Grinch Prevention Strategy #3: Take a whole-health approach

In addition to your physical needs, make sure you pay attention to your emotional, mental and spiritual needs.

What thoughts, feelings and expectations are coming up for you?

How are your interactions affecting you?

What, if anything, do you need to stop, start or continue doing to give yourself space for peace and joy?

Make sure you equip yourself with the tools you need to function at your best in all areas of your life. If you need help with this, check out this handy guide here to make sure you have a solid foundation that supports your happiness in life, relationships and work.


Inner Grinch Prevention Strategy #4: Overcome feeling overwhelmed with priorities

Clear, values-based priorities help you focus on what’s most important to you so you can make decisions that minimize regret and maximize joy.

Heads up: Making decisions based on your priorities means that you will have to say no. If you struggle with this, click here for a mindset shift that helps you say no mindfully and respectfully.


Inner Grinch Prevention Strategy #5: Support traditions that work for you

Just because it’s something you’ve always done or a place you’ve always visited doesn’t mean you have to do it this year. If doing things “the way they were always done” creates more stress than joy, take a step back to figure out a new approach.

Regardless of what idea you come up with, you could make it the next family tradition. Traditions have to start somewhere, right? I recently heard of a nurse who volunteers to take on extra shifts during the holidays.

She enjoys helping her colleagues who are then very grateful, which gives her a sense of purpose, a way to help patients and an excuse to decline invitations to stressful gatherings.


Inner Grinch Prevention Strategy #6: Laugh

Humor is great for stress reduction. Do something that makes you laugh, such as watching a funny movie, going through fun childhood pictures (I always find the ones from the awkward years particularly entertaining), singing and dancing to fun music or getting together in person or on the phone with someone who always makes you laugh.


Inner Grinch Prevention Strategy #7: Listen to music

Do you have a song that always lifts your spirits? Or a type of music that always soothes your soul? Have that song or playlist be easily accessible on your computer or smartphone so you can take a break from the daily grind quickly and easily.


Inner Grinch Prevention Strategy #8: Fill your cup … literally and figuratively

It’s tough to be your best self when you’re running on empty. Be sure to do something nourishing and uplifting. It can be something as simple as savoring a mug of your favorite tea or hot chocolate or more extended such as a spa day (at home or at your favorite spa).

Take Action

Don’t let the pressure associated with this time of year turn into an open invitation for your Inner Grinch. Remember, you get to choose how to approach the next few weeks.

Your Right-Sized Action Step is to put yourself on your priority list so your Inner Grinch doesn’t come out to steal your joy in the coming weeks.

What do you want the next few weeks to really be about? Decide on at least one strategy or tactic you’ll implement in the next few weeks to put yourself first.

Do what it takes to make it happen: make a plan, put it in your schedule, get an accountability partner or book the appointment. You owe it to yourself (and those who depend on you).

I’d love to hear from you. What have you found to be effective ways to keep your stress in check and enjoy the busy holiday season? Do you practice any of the Inner Grinch Prevention Strategies? Is there something you’d add?