Five Tips for Staying Sane During the Holidays

Happy Thanksgiving week, friends! The kids are on break from school, and I’m so excited to start all the holiday things with them. But there’s no question this time of year can be stressful. There’s decorating to be done, gifts to buy, cookies to bake, parties to attend…all things fun, right?! But no matter how much you plan ahead, life just gets more chaotic around the holidays. It’s enough to make you hit the eggnog early!

Every year I attempt to savor the holiday more than power through it, and these are my top tips for maintaining sanity, and enjoying the season!

Five Tips for Keeping Your Sanity During the Holidays

1. Make a family bucket list

It’s the holidays, we want to do it all, right?! But we can’t. So every year we make a family bucket list of our favorite holiday activities. Everyone gets to choose their favorite, and we add it to the calendar. By doing this, we’ve been able to pare down the list, and focus on the things we love doing most (which means saying ‘No’ to the rest!). Which is ultimately, just enjoying the season together as a family.

2. Take a moment for yourself.

It’s not being selfish, it’s self-preservation! Take a bath, meditate, or just sit with a glass of wine or cup of tea in a quiet room. Carve out a time just for you, so you’re better able to provide for others. I tend to wait until I’m near a boiling point to do this, but I’m always glad I took a minute to walk away and re-center!

3. Forget multi-tasking.

We’re busy women with a long To Do List, but multi-tasking can actually create anxiety over your jam-packed schedule. Instead, focus on one thing at a time to help stay in the present. Mr. SP (a therapist) is always encouraging mindfulness, which usually makes me roll my eyes, but he’s definitely on to something. If I focus on the joy in the task I’m doing, I’m less likely to start stressing about the other tasks left to be done.

4. Get outside and MOVE.

Exercise takes a backseat when life gets busy, but it’s actually the best thing for relieving stress. It doesn’t have to be much, any kind of activity will help. Bundle up and go for a walk or hike. Even better, do it with a loved one! Taking time for each other, fresh air, and exercise…it’s a winning combination! Some of our best talks happen on hikes.

On Mr. SP: Quilted Vest | Hoodie | Pants | Beanie Cap | Hiking Shoes | Backpack
On Me: Quilted Pullover | Packable Jacket | Hiking Pants | Sneakers | Hat

Texas got an early cold-front last week (usually reserved for January!), so we bundled up in warm layers for a hike around the lake. Actually, this combo is pretty much Mr. SP’s Fall uniform. If he’s not in work clothes, you’ll find him in track pants and hoodies. The quilted vest is a great added layer of warmth, and I love the sporty style on him!

Quilted Vest | Hoodie | Pants | Beanie Cap | Hiking Shoes | Backpack

I buy all our outdoor shoes at Backcountry…they’re my go-to retailer for all things outdoors, with everything from fleece pullovers to down jackets, and weatherproof boots and hiking shoes. While they specialize in outdoor gear, I love that they also carry brands I’ll wear around town, too. (I’m looking at you, Patagonia pullovers!)

My favorite hiking shoes for several years have been the Adidas Terrex (I hiked the Grand Canyon, Sedona, and Big Bend thanks to those amazing shoes, and wore them all over Alaska, too.), They have incredible traction and keep feet dry (and warm, when paired with these socks).

But for everyday walks and working out, I’m a Nike girl all the way. Mr. SP recently picked up these shoes for all-terrain hikes and walks…but found they’re also great for golf! They’re waterproof, too, so that’s been helpful in this crazy weather lately.

Hiking ShoesSneakers

This canvas backpack is extremely lightweight, and the right size for day essentials. It’s compact with a padded liner against your back, making it easy and comfortable to wear. It comes in tons of colors, too.


I’ve owned this packable jacket for years, and it’s come in handy more times than I can count. I love that it travels so compactly, making it easy to throw in my suitcase as a ‘just in case’, too. (It literally folds into the pocket and is smaller than a football!) Use code TAKE20NOVEMBER and it’s 20% off!

Fit Tip: I’m wearing a small, so true to size for coats.

Quilted Pullover | Packable Jacket |Hat

These pants are a new purchase, and I already know they’ll be a go-to for our outdoor adventures. They’re incredibly comfortable with a wide, stretchy waistband, and so easy to move in, making them perfect for our active lifestyle. They’re a great replacement for leggings, and have room to layer for extra-cold days.

Fit Tip: They’re true to size, I’m wearing XS

Packable Jacket | Hiking Pants |Hat

On Mr. SP: Quilted Vest | Hoodie | Pants | Beanie Cap | Hiking Shoes | Backpack
On Me: Quilted Pullover | Packable Jacket | Hiking Pants | Sneakers |Hat

Y’all know I love Patagonia pullovers, especially this quilted style. It’s made of organic cotton and unbelievably soft. I love all the color options, too. But beware, they’re addicting!! It’s impossible to stop at owning just one! (Use code TAKE20NOVEMBER to get 20% off any one item in this post, including my pullover!)

Fit Tip: I always size up for more room, I’m wearing a small.

Quilted Pullover | Packable Jacket | Hiking Pants | SneakersHat

5. Focus on the meaning.

‘The reason for the season’ isn’t just a cliche for greeting cards, it really is what this time of year is all about. Sure parties, food, and gifts are fun, but it’s not why we do this every year. Volunteer with a community organization, collect toys for a toy drive, help out in a shelter, or visit older adults in assisted living facilities. And do it together. These are all ways that you can keep the true meaning of celebrating the holidays.


What do you do to stay calm and sane during the holidays? Getting outside and connecting with nature and family is the biggest one for me. But regardless of our best intentions, things can still get crazy and hectic. Give yourself some grace and try not to sweat it, it’s all going to be okay! There’s always next year, right!?

I’m linking our outdoor faves below, and don’t forget you can use code SUGARPLUM15 for 15% off your entire first order with Backcountry, or TAKE20NOVEMBER for 20% off any one single item.

[Shop Our Outdoor Styles]

*Photos by the darling and talented Mary Hafner. This post is created in collaboration with Backcountry and ShopStyle, but all styles, opinions, and excessive list-making are my own. Thank you for supporting Hi Sugarplum sponsors!*



Leave a Comment


  1. Sheaffer wrote:

    You cute. AND you’ve got some great advice! Loved these pics and LOVE Patagonia. #lovefest

    Posted 11.19.18 Reply
  2. Sevahn wrote:

    Tips #2 and #3 work best for me during the holidays. I make sure my make up is on and my coffee cup is full (and creamy) so that I am able to be sweet and loving to all my family and guests!

    Posted 11.19.18 Reply
    • Cassie wrote:

      ‘Sweet and Loving’…I love that!! Sometimes even if it means fake it til you make it! 😉

      Posted 11.19.18 Reply
  3. Elizabeth wrote:

    That hat! The link isn’t working though… 🙁

    Posted 11.19.18 Reply
  4. Tricia wrote:

    What great pics! I love Backcountry and Patagonia! I love that you are partnering with a more unexpected brand like backcountry 🙂

    Posted 11.19.18 Reply
    • Cassie wrote:

      I’ve been shopping their great sales for years, so I’m excited for the opportunity to work with them!

      Posted 11.19.18 Reply
  5. Courtney wrote:

    Love both outfits! I live in Frisco and we’re always looking for day hikes nearby. Where is this hike?

    Posted 11.20.18 Reply
    • Cassie wrote:

      This was around Lake Grapevine! so pretty, right?! We love Arbor Hills, too.

      Posted 11.20.18 Reply