The holiday season is one full of fun, family, and joy, but it can also become very stressful. Between getting the perfect gifts for everyone in your life, figuring out a celebration schedule, and all of the planning that goes into making the season magical, it can be easy to stress yourself out to the max. Making sure to prioritize self-care during the holidays is important to make sure that everyone in your life is able to enjoy the holiday season with you. Below are eight ways to help destress you during the holidays.
1. Get Some Sun
Not having exposure to the sun has a multitude of negative effects on our mood. With short daylight hours, it can be easy to end up spending the entire time that the sun is out in your office or home. That’s why it’s important to make it a priority to get out while the sun is out so you can get your much-needed sun exposure. You can incorporate outdoor time into fun winter activities, like skiing, ice skating, or sledding, or you can just go for a walk or hike in a local park. Any time spent in the sun is time that will help with your overall mood!
In the wise words of Elle Woods in Legally Blonde, “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy.” Try to find a form of exercise that you actually enjoy so that you don’t dread exercising. For example, you can take a walk around a local park, follow a dance workout to your favorite song on YouTube, or do a yoga flow. Any way that you are moving your body can help you feel less stressed, and taking time to do something good for you can really help boost your mood and reduce your stress.
3. Learn to Say No
It can be really easy to overschedule yourself during the holidays. There are so many different activities, parties, and events that you can possibly go to. However, trying to make it a priority to go to every single thing you’re invited to will only result in you being strung out and over-stressed. Since you need to prioritize taking care of yourself during the holidays, you have to learn to say “thanks, but no thanks” to some of the invitations you may get. Remember that while it might be fun to go to a party, if it means you can’t do something that is actually important, you will probably spend the entire party stressed out and not actually having fun.
4. Have Tech-Free Time
Being connected to everyone all the time can be very overwhelming, so you should try having periods during your day where you put your phone down. If you’re deeply addicted to your phone, start by setting aside 10 minutes, setting a timer, and doing something that can be done completely tech-free, like cleaning or reading. Eventually, you can build up your tech-free tolerance and be able to set aside an hour or more to be away from your technology.
Journalling is one of the most cliche pieces of stress-relieving advice, I know. However, having time when you can list out what is stressing you out can really help you get a grip on how to fix your stressors. And if thinking about everything that stresses you out only makes that stress worse, try focusing on the positive things happening in your life instead. Taking time to write down three things that you’re grateful for every day can help shift your mindset to one that is much happier. Actively looking for things that make you happy makes you focus your day on those moments of joy instead of the moments of stress.
6. Have a Spa Day
Nothing says self-care like a spa day. If you can’t carve out enough time for an entire spa day, you can always spread your spa treatments out over multiples days or weeks. Make sure that whatever salon or spa that you contact can do the services that you want, like a massage, pedicure, or waxing. And a little tip if you’re a fan of waxing: taking an over the counter pain reliever like aspirin or Tylenol half an hour before your appointment can help the discomfort that will come during your wax.
7. Go Shopping For Yourself
During the holidays you probably spend a lot of time buying gifts for other people. However, getting yourself something special is a great way to de-stress this holiday season. For example, you could go to a holiday pop-up shop of a local small business that you love — pop-up shops and small businesses are a $50 billion dollar market, so the odds are that there will be a pop-up near you. If you’ve had your eye on something for a while, treat yourself by buying it. It may even be on sale for the holidays, so look out for any price drops.
8. Take Time to Plan Your Finances
One of the most stressful parts of the holiday season is how easy it can be to overspend if you’re not careful. Avoid the stress of overspending by knowing exactly what you can afford before you start buying your gifts, decorations, or party supplies. You should look at your income, your bills, and what you’d like to save for an emergency fund or retirement. If you’re one of the three-quarters of Americans stressed about how their retirement fund is looking, consider speaking with a financial consultant to get help with knowing how much you should be putting away each month. Once you know what you will need to spend on your bills and savings, you can determine how much you can afford to spend on your holiday-related expenses. Avoiding becoming stressed about a certain situation is the best way to relieve stress before it can even come about.
The holidays can easily become an overwhelming and stressful time, but by taking time to prioritize taking care of yourself, you can avoid becoming so stressed that you don’t enjoy the most wonderful time of the year. Remember that you cannot spread cheer unless you’re feeling cheered yourself, so you have to make sure to take care of yourself. Happy holidays!