While the holidays are the most wonderful time of the year, they often come with stress and a very busy schedule!
Use these tips to stay happy, healthy and energized this holiday season.
1. Relax in a hot bubble bath
When times get stressful and you need a moment to yourself, wine down and relax in a nice, hot bubble bath. Grab your favorite book or listen to some soothing music to take your mind off any chaos, and just focus on you.
2. Cuddle with loved ones
There is nothing better than snuggling up to loves ones over the holidays. Share the coziness of a blanket or the warmth of a hug to de-stress and relax. Studies also show that holding the hand and feeling the warmth of loved ones can actually minimize feelings of pain and decrease stress.
3. Show gratitude/give back
It’s easy to get to caught up in the holidays that you forget to simply give back and show gratitude. An attitude of gratitude goes a long way, no matter the season. Start each day and end each night by thinking and expressing what you are grateful for in life. Encourage your loved ones to do the same.
4. Try out a new holiday recipe
Even if you are not a chef (well, especially if you are not a chef) test out a fun, festive recipe in the kitchen! It may turn out horribly wrong, but it may end up deliciously right! Either way, this is a great activity to do with family and friends to destress and unwind.
5. Grab a peppermint
Studies show mint has a lot of health benefitting properties. Mint helps with toxin buildup in the stomach and colon, helping with nausea and digestion. It also contains numerous plant derived compounds that have anti-oxidant, disease-preventing, and health promoting properties.
6. Carry red lipstick
Automatically feel a little more festive with red lipstick! Pair with a simple black dress for a festive, holiday outfit.
7. Stock up on hostess gifts
Don’t stress about hostess gifts for a dinner you were invited to last minute. Stock up on some gifts so you are prepared in a flash and never show up empty handed! Some great ideas include: a bottle of wine, festive kitchen towels or napkins, or a soothing, holiday candle.
8. Acknowledge your feelings
Don’t let the holidays bottle you up with emotions! Realize that it is normal to feel sad, stressed or even depressed over the holidays. Talk it out with friends and family to relieve tension and stress you put on yourself.
9. Be realistic
So what if you are not the queen of Pinterest! The holidays don’t have to be perfect and neither do you. Focus more on quality time with the people in your life- not the fact that your table is not Instagram ready. Don’t sweat the small stuff.
10. Start a new tradition
Times change, just like your family! If it’s time, try starting a new tradition or even bring one back from the past! If your family has a hard time keeping up with traditions, introduce a new game to make this holiday memorable!
11. Stick to a budget
IS the family feeling a little bigger this year? Maybe you don’t want to buy a gift for everyone in the extended family and beyond. Try mentioning a gift exchange. Pull from a secret Santa bag or play a white elephant gift exchange game to keep the holiday theme alive.
12. Plan ahead
Still have last minute shopping and planning to take care of? Make a plan and set aside specific dates and times for specific tasks. Don’t let it all catch up to you last minute and feel stressed to fit everything in.
13. Take a hike
No, don’t tell someone to take a hike! Rather, get outdoors and take on yourself. A good walk outside is a great way to digest after a large meal and spend some time in the sunshine. Studies also show that the rhythm and repetition of walking has a tranquilizing effect on the brain and can decrease anxiety.
14. Take a whiff of citrus
Researchers have shown that certain citrus fragrances can boost feelings of well-being and relieve stress. The fragrance contains norepinephrine, a hormone that affects your mood.
15. Squeeze your hand
According to traditional Chinese medicine, placing pressure on the fleshy spot between your index finger and thumb can reduce stress. If you being to feel overwhelmed by the holidays, place pressure on this spot for 30 seconds to relieve stress and tension in your upper body. Follow this with a nice, deep breath.
16. Get out of the house
Take a walk through a local holiday market or village or maybe just stop by the house in the neighborhood that decorates to the nines.
17. Go tech-free
Get everyone away from their phones and computers to spend quality time with one another. Turning your head away from the phone will relieve the anticipation of incoming calls, texts and emails so you can focus on the people and life happening right in front of you.
18. Get intimate
In addition to boosting your immune system, a little time under the covers can release endorphins, relieve stress, raise your self esteem and even help you sleep better.
19. Listen to some tunes
It doesn’t have to be holidays carols in the background, but listening to your favorite music cam help you relax, unwind and even focus.
20. Fit in exercise
Physical exercise can boost your mood and relieve stress. You don’t have to hit the gym to feel better, but spend time outside and plan activities that will get you and the family up and moving this season.