How to manage stress during the holidays – 10 self care tips

I get so excited for the holidays and then my excitement for all of the parties, social gatherings and family events turn into stress during the thick of it. Stress, because there is just SO much going on and I’m off my routine.

P.S. I used to feel so guilty about feeling anxious during this time. I would think to myself, “Hey! You should feel blessed you have some much going on. You should feel blessed that you do have family and friends to spend the holidays with.” But you know what, I am blessed, but that doesn’t mean I should neglect my mental health. If I’m ever feeling anxious, that just means I’m ignoring myself. Therefore, I can’t be there for others.

Make sure you make time for yourself so you can be present for others.

“Love yourself so you can love others.”

Here are my favorite self care tips that I do during the holidays to help manage my stress:

1. Sleep

If you don’t get enough sleep, you are making yourself vulnerable to stress and illness. If you feel exhausted take a nap, sleep in, go to bed early. Being tired or exhausted doesn’t mean you are lazy. Take a step away from your holiday shopping, holiday parties, and long list of to-dos to rest. You will be way more productive after you get some rest.

2. Take a long, hot bath

A bath is the perfect way to distance yourself from a long day. Dim the lights, light up some candles, add some essential oils to your bath and read. Close your eyes and take deep breaths. Smell all of the smells from the candles and oils. Release all of your tensed muscles and relax.

3. Hot Yoga

I have been practicing yoga consistently for a year now, and damn has it made a huge difference on my mental health. It has not only healed my injuries, tight muscles and inflammation, but it has also enabled me to relax into my happy place. Hot yoga eliminates the toxins, excess sodium, improves circulation and loosen tense and sore muscles. 

4. Practice aromatherapy

I love playing around with essential oils. In fact, I always carry them in my bag. You can either apply the oils to your neck and temples or use a diffuser. 

  • Lavendar is used for anxiety, insomnia, mild depression and hair loss.
  • Chamomile is used for insomnia, anxiety, indigestion, skin infections, wounds and inflammation.
  • Eucalyptus is used for decongestant, expectorant and headaches.
  • Peppermint is perfect for indigestion, coughs, nausea, and headaches
5. Plan out the next year

This helps get my head space into a place of an imagination. I jot down my resolutions, dream of conquering goals and plan out fun vacations. It sets goals, plans out my future and defines my life. It helps me find my purpose. 

6. Find comfort in prayer

Whether you call it praying or taking a moment to reflect, remember to be thankful for the blessings in your life. During the holidays, it can be so easy to forget what this season is all about especially when an annoying relative is hassling you with questions. However, it’s so important to stop and take a moment to thank the universe for giving you all that you have. Praying helps me stay grounded and focused. I love to also share my fears, hopes and dreams during this time – it keeps me humble and vulnerable. It’s like therapy.

7. Embrace family traditions

Most families have rituals unique to their family that they celebrate year after year. If your family is lacking in tradition, go ahead and create some new rituals! 

8. Pay for a strangers coffee

Every morning I set the intention to be aware of how I can help someone else that day. When we focus on others we learn more about ourselves. When we give, we benefit others, which cirlces back and benefits us.

According to researchers at Stony Brook University, when we’re generous our brains release several chemicals that give us a sense of joy and peace. 

9. Take a walk outside

Walking helps destress. Your brain releases serotonin and dopamine, which lifts your mood both during and after your walk. The fresh air, the natural sounds of the outdoors and the rays from the sun decreases the production of stress hormones. I love to walk outside without my phone. It helps me be present and file my scattered thoughts.

10. Drink water – more than you think

The holidays can be soo dehydrating. Think about it – we’ve got holiday party after holiday party. You’re drinking more than usual and eating all sorts of foods that you don’t normally eat. Alcohol is a depressant and extremely dehydrating. If you notice your mood is low, drink water. If you notice you have a lot of unwanted water weight, drink water. If you only have had a glass of water by 12PM, drink water.

I hope these tips help you during the holidays! Please share you’re own in the comments below 🙂

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