Happy holidays! It’s the most wonderful (and busy!) time of the year! While we love nothing more than curling up with a cup of cocoa and watching our favorite holiday movies, this time of year can bring some serious stress — all of the parties and get-togethers, shopping for everyone on your nice list, and the seemingly never-ending to-do list can dampen the holiday spirit. But don't worry. We’ve narrowed down our six favorite tips to destress throughout the season so you can enjoy all things merry & bright.
1. Practice #Selfcare
Practicing self-care this time of year is essential. Taking care of yourself both mentally and physically will keep stress at bay, your immune system supported, your physical fitness up, and your overall happiness levels thriving.
Our favorite ways to practice self-care? Heading to a cozy coffee shop with a good book, going for a run, or settling into a nice bath. You can’t be at your best when your body and mind are overwhelmed, so taking time for self-care isn’t selfish — it’s important.
2. Unwind & Unplug
Taking some time to disconnect is also essential in giving yourself a break. Rather than getting caught up in what everyone else is doing over the holidays as you scroll through social media, use this quiet time to reflect.
Journaling can have numerous benefits for both mind and body. Not only have there been several studies that find taking time to journal can support our intelligence levels and achieving our goals, but journaling has also been found to increase our mindfulness, which in turn, has been found to have a strong connection with our happiness levels.
Journaling and self reflection are known to be a great mechanism for stress-relief and confidence boosting, which means you can head into the holidays feeling like your best, stress-free self.
3. Breathe & S t r e t c h
People have been practicing yoga for over 5,000 years so your yogi friends have to be on to something. Studies have found that practicing yoga (even if its just a few poses here and there throughout your day) can minimize stress, maximize productivity, and encourage a good mood. Not only are you benefiting from the physical aspects of yoga through its strength-building and flexibility-encouraging aspects, but you can feel zen while you tackle your holiday to-do list.
Need some guidance? Try these poses from our friends over at Well+Good.
4. Relax with Herbs & Oils
For a relaxing night’s sleep, try some chamomile to help you ease into bedtime. Want some added stress relief? Dab some lavender oil on your wrists or try some Rhodiola Rosea for a moment of calm. If you're feeling tired or worried, try some bergamot in your bubble bath for the ultimate self-care solution.
If you'd like to learn more about essential oils, we've got more brain waves for you here.
5. Eat Stress-relieving Brain Foods
You are what you eat. While you (rightfully) indulge on your favorite holiday meals, try incorporating some of these foods to help you keep stress levels low.
Avocados and bananas are loaded with potassium, which can help maintain healthy blood-pressure levels already within the normal range. A cup of tea when you’re feeling overwhelmed can calm your nerves and make you feel at ease, while munching on some dark chocolates can satisfy your sweet-tooth while also supporting healthy cortisol levels.
6. It's Okay to Politely Pass
One of the easiest ways to stretch yourself thin during the holidays is saying "yes" to everyone and everything. While we all enjoy a great holiday party or gathering, it's easy to wear yourself out with so many engagements. Don't be afraid to say "maybe next time," and put your own well-being first.
While the holidays can be overwhelming, it’s just as important to take time to care for yourself as it is to shop for everyone on your nice-list. Treat yourself, practice some self-care, and be merry.
Got your own favorite ways to de-stress? Let us know in the comments below! Happy holidays, Livelihood!