The holiday season may be “the most wonderful time of the year,” but it can also be the busiest. With parties to attend (or host), shopping to do, Pinterest-worthy decorations to recreate, presents to wrap, family to visit, not to mention if you are planning a wedding, remodeling a house, or handling any other stresses in your life…it can take all the good cheer out of the holidays.
The holiday season is a time for giving and thinking of others, but you also have to remember to take care of yourself. It’s easy to get lost in the high expectations and the hoopla, but when you feel yourself start to get overwhelmed, it’s time for a little self-care. Here are 10 ways to de-stress during the busy holiday season.
1. Make a Gratitude List
With all your shopping lists, holiday card address lists, holiday dinner grocery lists, and so on…you are probably cringing at the thought of another list. But trust me! Taking just a few minutes to write out the things you are really truly grateful for can help put everything into perspective.
‘Tis the season to remember all the blessings we’ve been given throughout the past year. So give yourself the time to sit down, reflect on how lucky you are, and appreciate all the good things in life, no matter how small.
2. Take a Relaxing Bath
Nothing quite washes the stresses away like a relaxing bath. Light a candle, dim the lights, and pamper yourself a bit. For an extra special soak, add in some bubble bath or a bath bomb (here’s a great DIY recipe from A Beautiful Mess to try). Indulge in a little extra time to apply a face mask or use a body scrub. Maybe even turn on some soothing music or listen to your favorite podcast. Whatever makes you relax and let go of all the “to do’s”.
3. Dance Like Nobody is Watching
Need to blow off some steam? Turn on your favorite tunes and dance like no one is watching! Pull out all the moves and dance around your living room like a fool. Moving your body releases tension and a great song lifts your mood. You will feel freer after just the first few beats.
4. Get Enough Sleep
It’s no secret that the first thing to go when things get busy is sleep. But it is so important to get good quality sleep during the holidays. You want to be at your best to be able to celebrate with your loved ones.
Try setting a timer half an hour before you want to be in bed. This will trigger you to start winding down and getting yourself ready to sleep. At this point, turn off your screens (I know it’s hard, believe me). Before getting into bed, I like to do a short meditation or some light stretching to release all the tension of the day. Then I can go to bed refreshed and ready for rest.
5. Watch a Feel-Good Movie
Need a pick-me-up? Why not turn on a feel-good movie? Pick a flick that cheers you up, makes you laugh, or lifts your spirits. Laughter is a great way to relieve stress.
Especially during the holidays, there are a plethora of feel-good films to put that smile on your face. Although, I have to confess, I can watch Elf any time of year. Try a family classic, and you will find just how fast those good vibes come back to you.
Yoga is an amazing tool for mental and physical wellness. There are all types of practices you can do, from active Vinyasa yoga for a great workout to restful Yin Yoga to restore focus and calm your mind.
Don’t have time to go to a studio for a yoga class? Some of my favorite YouTube yoga instructors are Brett Larkin, Yoga By Candace, and The Journey Junkie. Explore all the different styles of classes and teachers to see what fits you best.
7. Make Something with Your Hands
Creating something with your own hands can be incredibly therapeutic. Whatever your skills or hobbies are, slow down and make something. Sew, woodwork, bake…just get crafty. And who knows, you may even be able to cross someone’s gift off your list!
8. Get Cozy
As the weather gets colder (especially for us here in the Midwest United States), it is the perfect time to curl up with a blanket and a hot cup of coffee or tea. Light a fire and delight in the warmth. Look out the window at the beauty of nature and allow yourself some time to slow down from all the hustle and bustle. Maybe read that book you’ve had on your reading list all year, or browse through a good magazine. My reading list recommendations: Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert, The Magnolia Journal, and Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid.
9. Take a Walk
When all the things you still have to get done start piling up on you, go for a nice walk. Breathe in the fresh air and notice the world going on around you. Go on a hunt for the best Christmas display in the neighborhood. You just might find the peace of mind you need along the way.
10. Treat Yo’Self
Thinking of others is important during the holiday season, but it’s also okay to indulge a little yourself. You don’t have to spend a lot of money, but find a little time to treat yourself too. Groupon has some great local deals, like massages, pedicures, facials, and more. The holidays are a time of joy for all, and that includes you.
BONUS: Do Something You Love
Finally, when you are feeling lost in the overwhelm, do something you love! Play your favorite video game, go ice skating, write, bake, play guitar, whatever it is that makes you happy. Do it!
I know you’re busy and you feel like you can’t fit one more thing into your packed schedule. But it’s up to you to take care of yourself this holiday season. Once you start making time to de-stress every once in a while, you won’t believe how much better you feel and how much more you have to give to others. And you deserve a little love during the holidays too! After all, you look forward to these celebrations all year! Now it’s time to enjoy it.
Comment below with your best advice for de-stressing during the holidays.