Guide to Keeping the Holidays Stress Free

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You've thrown on It’s a Wonderful Life on TV,

you're downing that mulled wine, and a crackling fire is keeping you warm while you artfully wrap presents. A blissful scenario right? Christmas can be magical. But, it can also be stressful.

Malls packed with frantic, anxiety-ridden shoppers, the pressure to buy gifts for everyone, decorating the tree, cooking the perfect dinner–stress -- levels are bound to skyrocket.

While the holidays are meant for rest and relaxation, they can often leave you feeling frazzled and grumpy. We want you to enjoy all that's good about the season, so we put together a few ways to remain calm and peaceful straight into the new year.

 

 

1. Nourish your Body

Between Christmas parties with friends and holiday work functions with teammates, the season encourages overindulgence–one glass of spiked eggnog can quickly turn into three. But, if you go overboard consistently throughout December, instead of being filled with holiday cheer, you'll just end up feeling bloated, tired, and stressed.

So before heading to holiday functions or events, remember these tips:

  • Before a Christmas party, eat something nourishing so you’re not reaching for bread and cheese all night.
  • Keep your fridge stocked with lots of coconut water, fruits and veggies, and your cupboards full of healthy snacks. If you do overdrink, coconut water will be your friend in the morning.
  • Don’t forget about work. Keep healthy snacks like Granola Girl in your desk, and special drinks like Spark Kombucha and The Juice Truck in the fridge, so you don’t feel left out when others are drinking.  

 

2. Daily Journal and To-Do List

Remember when you were a kid and how you spilled all your deepest darkest feelings to your diary? It felt good right? As an adult, you should be doing the same thing, but instead of pining away about your latest crush, write down what you're grateful for, and set intentions for the day. Journaling provides you with an outlet for your thoughts so they’re not kept inside,  making you feel overwhelmed. We’ve heard great things about The Five-Minute journal, ( Jill Lansky uses it and swears by it), and would recommend ordering it. Chapters also has a lovely collection of journals.


Starting your day or week by writing a to-do list also helps. While Christmas day is about relaxing, the build up to it (and all things you need to get done) is stressful. To-do lists help you stay organized, and checking items off the list offers instant gratification.

 

3. Make time for yourself

Making time for yourself is easier said than done, between work deadlines, holiday parties, and christmas shopping, it can be especially hard this time of year. If you’re finding it too hard to find time, make time! Schedule an appointment in your calendar like you would for a doctor or dentist and stick with it–you can do 15 minutes a day.


At the end of the day, make it a ritual to run a warm bath, put on a soothing face mask, grab a book (and ditch the phone), and light your favorite candle. Allow yourself to be present, and let the worries of the day fade away.


If baths aren’t your thing, no worries! Making time for yourself means doing something that you know will help you recharge and de-stress.

 

4. Move your Body

A bit of light exercise every day has a powerful effect on the body–your sleep will improve, anxiety levels will drop, and energy levels will be replenished. Whether you commit to 5 minutes of meditating and breathing deeply, practicing yoga at home, or making it to an 8 PM spin class, do your body a solid and get into the routine of moving daily.

 

5. Stick to a Budget (and Shop Local)

The pressure to buy boatloads of big expensive gifts is enough to give anyone a panic attack. This year, commit to sticking to a budget, and purchase gifts that feel genuine. Buying a present for a family member should make you feel excited, not have you wondering if you’ll have to sell your soul in order to pay off your credit card–you don’t need that stress in your life.


Christmas shopping should be fun! Our advice? Skip the overcrowded malls and shop local. When you purchase gifts from small businesses within your community, you’re helping out a real person, not a huge conglomerate.


Some upcoming markets that are always a good time are the Fall for Local Market, Got Craft, and the East Side Flea.


This holiday season, practice self love, focus on being kind and generous and don’t let yourself get too stressed out about the small stuff.

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