The 10 Simplest Ways to Make the Best of Holiday Stress
Let’s face it, the holiday season is the most wonderful time of the year, but it can also be the most stressful. Tons of special circumstances can contribute to holiday stress – family drama, crowded stores filled with other stressed-out shoppers, and of course all the money we blow on presents.
But have no fear! There are plenty of ways to make the best out of your holiday stress so you don’t get burned out. Here are our top 10 favorite ways to de-stress and maintain our holiday spirit.
1. Bake Your Fave Holiday Treats
When it comes to the holidays, the dessert options are literally endless. No matter what you make – pie, cookies, cake, or even brownies – baking and cooking are amazing holiday stress relievers. In fact, studies show that cooking and baking can be soothing since they encourage creativity and help us feel accomplished once we’re done whipping up something delicious. Plus, this is a great option if you want to bring a treat to your next holiday party!
2. Unwind by Watching a Holiday Movie or Holiday Special
If there’s one thing the Hallmark Channel gets right, it’s that holiday movies are addicting. Especially if you need to unwind after a long day, turning on your fave holiday movie or holiday TV special that makes you feel nostalgic is an amazing way to turn your brain off and relax.
So, grab your eggnog and hop on your couch for a movie marathon. Here are some classics to queue up:
- Home Alone (and Home Alone 2)
- How the Grinch Stole Christmas
- Four Christmases
- Hitched for the Holidays
3. Decorate Your Space
The best way to get in the holiday spirit without stretching yourself too thin is decking the halls ~with boughs of holly~. You don’t have to overwhelm yourself by decorating your entire house and front yard like most people. Decorating your living room or hanging some gorgeous ornaments on your tree can be the festive activity you need to get in the holiday mood.
If you’re stressed about staying within your budget, you can find some super cute décor for a buck at Target or your local dollar store. Or, you can go the extra mile and make your decorations!
4. Craft Someone a Thoughtful Gift
Speaking of making your own decorations, have you considered making someone a gift? I don’t know about you, but my mom’s favorite gift that I’ve given her is a book of handwritten notes that came from the heart. Not only is a handmade gift beautifully thoughtful, but it costs next to nothing to make. If you’re not good with your words, you can:
- paint a picture
- make a piece of jewelry
- sculpt a knick-knack out of clay
- knit a beanie or cardigan
5. Take the Ultimate Bubble Bath
Nothing quite says relaxation like a nice, warm bubble bath. But why do you have to stop at the bubbles? Break out the eggnog (or the wine), light your favorite holiday-scented candle, drop in a holiday-themed bath bomb, and turn on the best holiday playlist you can find! If you wanna take it up a notch, you can even watch a holiday movie/T.V. special while you kick back and relax. Who said self-care can’t last all night?
6. Create the BEST Holiday Playlist
Remember how I mentioned listening to a holiday playlist while you’re in the bath? Well, if you can’t find anything that’s calling your name on Apple Music on Spotify, you can make your own playlist! Music is extremely effective for relaxation and reducing stress since it can link to our emotions, so the next time holiday stress is wearing you out, turn on Mariah Carey and jam out.
7. Curl Up with a Great Book
Getting lost in a story is one of my favorite ways to forget all of my worldly distractions and give my mind a break from the racing thoughts that can come from stress. Head to your local bookstore to grab a brand-new book, or grab the one off of your shelf that you swore you’d start reading for your New Year’s resolution. Then, find a nice comfortable spot, light a holiday scented candle, grab a holiday treat for a snack, and chill with your page-turner.
8. Get Some Fresh Air
The weather during the holidays is unmatched. The cold air, snow flurries, and the smell of Christmas trees in the air is enough to make anyone feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Not only that but getting some fresh air and getting your legs moving is a fool-proof way to reduce holiday stress and have you feeling refreshed. So, grab a loved one and go on a walk around your neighborhood to check out all of the holiday decorations – you won’t regret it.
9. Make Sure Your Friends and Fam Know You Love Them
When you’re feeling down or not like yourself because of stress, connecting, or reconnecting with the people you love is the perfect way to stay grounded and find support. Remember, there are always people out there who love you, and the holidays are one of the best times of the year to make sure they know it.
You don’t just have to show someone how much you care with a gift – instead, give them a call and tell them you’re thinking about them. Odds are, they’re stressed from the holidays too and would love to hear from you.
10. Use the Tried and True Methods of Reducing Stress
Organize, meditate, and exercise. These are some of the best ways to reduce anxiety and feel relaxed amongst all of the holiday chaos. All of these methods of reducing stress will help you declutter your mind, feel less distracted by your surroundings, and lift up a low mood by improving your mental and physical well-being. It’s always important to show yourself some TLC.
Don’t let holiday stress turn you into the Grinch. If you’re feeling overwhelmed during the holidays, it’s totally okay to take time for yourself and unwind. This way, you can spread the holiday cheer to everyone else around you this season. Happy Holidays!
Written by Selena Ponton