This time of year nonprofit communicators have the unenviable situation of not only having to deal with the normal holiday stress most everyone else deals with, but also the added strain of coordinating year-end campaigns at your nonprofit.

Want to talk about it? We’re holding a live event TODAY December 5th at 1pm ET (10am PT) on handling year-end stress in our Community. Join us there and look for the “Events” section to RSVP.

You’re probably dealing with:

  • High Expectations – shopping for the perfect gifts, planning the perfect meals, writing the perfect email appeal
  • Juggling Schedules – work parties, school events, #GivingTuesday, family get-togethers, making time for friends
  • Money Worries – spending too much on decorations, gifts and food; not getting enough in donations

To help you navigate this madness every year, I share some tips and resources to help you get through it the best you can.

My biggest tip for you is:


This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t always try your best. It’s just a reminder that nothing is ever perfect.

This tip if for those of us who rearrange the ornaments on our Christmas tree after our family decorates it (or the dishes in the dishwasher if you don’t do Christmas trees). It’s for those of us too scared to post that video or publish that article because it’s not the best thing they’ll ever see. (Remember, Some of Your Work Will Not Be Successful, but you have to keep going)

You can’t miss deadlines or opportunities waiting for perfection. And your need for perfection may just expand to those around you causing them to think they aren’t “good enough” either.

You are not in the perfect business. Focus on progress instead.

You can learn more about The Power of ‘Good Enough‘ from Olga Khazan at The Atlantic.

Now here are the top tips and resources for handling year-end stress from my previous posts:

Make Your Year-End Season Less Stressful: Ask for Help

In that post I share tips on asking for help like:

  • Be concise and specific
  • Don’t be demanding
  • Don’t apologize for asking
  • Try to do it face-to-face or on a call
  • Practice by asking for help in smaller ways
  • Reframe your request so it’s a conversation, rather than a transaction
  • Create a “support team” you know you can go to
  • Don’t wait til the last minute

Heidi Grant also shared these things NOT to do when asking for help:

  • Emphasize how much the other person will enjoy helping
  • Portray the help you need as a tiny, insignificant favor
  • Remind people that they owe you
  • Talk about how much their help will benefit you

Taking Care of Yourself for the Rest of the Year

This one was written during the first holiday season of 2020 so it focuses more on the specific challenges we faced that year. But it also has some good tips on coping with stress and depression during the holidays from The Mayo Clinic:

  • Acknowledge your feelings
  • Reach out
  • Be realistic
  • Set aside differences
  • Stick to a budget
  • Plan ahead
  • Learn to say no
  • Take a breather
  • Seek professional help if you need it

How to Take Care of Yourself This Season

This year I shared several articles on handling stress.

At Work:

At Home:

Less Stress This Year-End Season? Yes, Please!

This post shared the tips that seemed to show up most often, and while you have probably heard them all before, it’s worth being reminded to:

  • Move around
  • Get enough sleep
  • Stay organized/have a to-do list
  • Treat yourself
  • Take a moment and breathe

You got this, friends! Happy Holidays!

Published On: December 5, 2023|Categories: Communications Team Management, Relationships, and Boundaries|