The holidays are a time when family and friends get together for some much needed relaxation and reconnecting. However, it can also be a time of high stress for parents that are in charge of arranging meals, buying gifts, cleaning before and after, and possibly driving long distances. If you are enduring the lion’s share of this stress, you can help destress with the following gifts or activities.

1. Do the Dishes

Assuming your family enjoys a large holiday meal, there is usually a mountain of dishes and dozens of platters of leftovers that need to be attended to almost immediately after the meal. If mom put any significant effort into making the meal, give her a break by letting her relax with dessert and a cup of coffee while you clear the table, pack the leftovers, and put the dishes and cooking utensils in the dishwasher.

2. Clean the House

One of the biggest stress factors of the holidays is all the extra cleaning that is needed after the big days are done. Visiting family and friends makes messes in guest rooms, use extra sheets and towels, track in additional dirt, and otherwise create greater clutter. And even if there aren’t extra visitors, cleaning the house can be a great way to relieve stress for mom. If she is facing additional stress due to the holidays, taking one usual chore off of her to-do list is an excellent way to help her destress.

3. Help Her Get a Good Night’s Sleep

A good night’s sleep is a natural way for the body to relieve stress. However, many people have difficulty sleeping soundly. One of the most common reasons people don’t sleep soundly is because they are sleeping on an uncomfortable mattress. The holiday season is the perfect excuse to buy a new, comfortable mattress. There are a variety of options, but for a truly great night’s sleep, a bamboo mattress offers an ideal combination of sturdiness and softness to help your mom sleep soundly.

4. Take Her to a Show

…or a museum, or the zoo, or the park, etc. In short, take her out to enjoy her favorite type of entertainment. One of the most tried and true ways of relieving stress is to simply take a break and soak in mostly effortless entertainment. If you arrange the time, day, payments, and transportation, the most effort she will have to perform is a little walking.

5. Don’t Talk Politics

One of the more insidious ways that the holidays can be stressful is when family members or friends argue. It can turn a lighthearted night into something that is agonizingly stressful. Discussing politics is just one of many things that often causes such arguments. If you want to limit the stress for mom, and the rest of the family as well, make an agreement with your family and friends, before the holidays start, to avoid controversial topics or statements.

Written by Emily Green for Working Mother and legally licensed through the Matcha publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to

December 20, 2019

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