5 Ways to Stay Stress-Free This Holiday Season

We are now officially entering Thanksgiving week! Although, it sure feels like Halloween was just yesterday. Doesn’t time always seem to pass by faster during the end of the year? It does for me, and with the passage of time has come more items added to my to-do list. Oy.

I’m usually half-way done with my Christmas shopping by now, but this year I’ve barely begun. And while I did get a head start on putting up holiday decorations around the apartment, learning how to balance an excess of shiny objects around a kitten has been quite challenging. I’m not going to lie, I needed a glass (or two) of wine so I could settle down afterwards.

During the end-of-year holidays, it seems we are much more prone to stress than any other time of year. Maybe it’s due to the changing of the seasons (hello Seasonal Affective Disorder), but I think it’s due in large part to the amount of responsibilities we try to take on at once, in such a short amount of time. It can be rough. And trust me, you won’t be feeling thankful when the extra stress causes you to go back for too many helpings this Thanksgiving.

So I’ve put together a list of helpful tips to combat stress in the upcoming weeks. Whether you try them all or just stick with one, I hope they do the trick. May your holidays consist of good tidings of comfort and joy 🙂

  1. Unplug – It seems like a no-brainer, but we all need reminding sometimes. Put your phone on Do Not Disturb, put it down, and forget about it for a while. Trying to accomplish errands, gift-wrapping, cooking, and endless amounts of other tasks is infinitely harder when you’re trying to keep up with social media. Unplug from all of your devices at least one day a week and you’ll be surprised by how much you’re able to get done. And how much better you feel. Want to really challenge yourself? Unplug multiples times a week.
  2. Set aside “me” time – While you’re making lists and writing down your schedule in your planner, make sure to set aside some time to yourself once a day. It could be listening to holiday music, soaking in a bath, reading that book you’ve been dying to get through, or watching an episode of your favorite TV show. De-stress this holiday by remembering to take care of what is most important–you!
  3. Get active – Whether it’s a walk around the block or around the mall, exercise is a great way to bring your mind back to a happy place. Do you enjoy seeing the Christmas lights in a particular neighborhood each year? Try admiring them on foot. Park your car down the street and get some fresh air while you ogle the lights. Plus, you can burn off some of the extra calories from the holiday sweets we all fail to resist.
  4. Communicate – It’s the number one key to a successful relationship, right? Well it’s also a great tool to get stress-free. If some of your tasks or challenges involve another person, talk it out with them. They can offer help or a different perspective. You’d be surprised by what you can accomplish when you choose not to go the road alone. Or write it out! We’ve all been there, laying in bed at night and unable to sleep because we have a million thoughts going through our head. Grab a pen and paper, and write it all down. Vow to think about it later, and enjoy a good night’s sleep. It will do wonders on your mind and body.
  5. Live in the moment – During all of the rough times that you’ll endure this holiday season, make sure to step back and enjoy the moment. Because you’ve made it through another year. And while it may have not been the greatest year, you still managed to wake up each morning and keep on living. I think that’s pretty rad! Next time you find yourself frustrated with all that you have on your plate over the upcoming weeks, sit back and remind yourself to live in the moment. Try shortening your to-do list, worry a little less about giving gifts, and just take in the spirit of the season. You’ll feel better when you’re actually enjoying yourself instead of stressing your way through to the New Year.
I love to wind down with a bath, holiday music by She & Him, and a warm cup of tea

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