7 Ways to Relax during the Holidays
The holidays can be tough, and often we forget what they are truly about, and get wrapped up in the stress of it all. We’ve put together a list of the simplest ways to decompress during the holidays.
1. Take a bath
We love baths, so this is definitely our number one pick. Nothing beats a nice hot bath to calm your nerves and sooth your achy muscles. Adding essential oils to your bath water can also help you to relax. We recommend throwing a bath bomb in the tub for its moisturizing oils and calming essential oils. Our Wife of Bath bomb is perfect with relaxing essential oils of lavender, lemongrass, and may chang. If you want an even more down to earth and calming bath bomb, our Serenity bomb is amazing, with notes of lavender, patchouli, pine, elemi, gardenia, lemongrass, and orange.
If you feel like keeping it seasonal for the holidays, our Clove and Peppermint bomb (pictured in action above) is incredibly relaxing!
2. Don’t be too hard on yourself
Often we have higher expectations of how we should be during the holidays, whether it be about staying on a strict diet, or about getting everyone the perfect gift, even if it is outside of your financial capabilities. Don’t beat yourself up if you cheat on your diet, because I bet your mom makes the best gingersnaps, and what is life if you can’t enjoy a family recipe? And definitely do not get upset if you did not have as much money this year to splurge on costly gifts. You can’t enjoy the holidays if you are too hard on yourself, the things that give us the most anxiety are usually those of least importance in the grand scheme of things. Just think about what the holidays are really about to put everything in perspective.
3. Be able to say “No”
Try to take it easy. You may find yourself saying “yes” to everyone, when really you just want to say “no”. Set your own limits this holiday season, and don’t do anything you don’t want to do. Of course you may have a few things that are more or less required and would cause a stir if you didn’t attend, like a dinner at your grandmother’s house, etc. You should have confidence in saying “no” when your sister demands that you have 100 cookies ready on short notice for that same dinner, when you have a million other things you need to do, like take that hot bath mentioned above.
4. Be jolly
Having a good laugh is a great stress reliever. Surround yourself with your best friends and your favorite family members (not the select few that stress you out, of course) and let the good times roll. Laughing reduces a stress hormone called cortisol in your body, and increases the release of euphoria causing endorphins in your brain. In addition, releasing more endorphines will boost feelings of self-worth and confidence, as well as your health and immune response. Studies show that laughing also releases muscle tension, helping you to relax. Don’t take the holidays too seriously, go spend time with your loved ones and most importantly, have fun!
5. Create new traditions
Sometimes the old customs can make us sad, especially for the lonely and the grieving. Nostalgic memories do not always bring joy. Creating new traditions, or taking part in the traditions of others, can be a breath of fresh air to your holiday season. Maybe reinventing your holiday menu is what you needed, or maybe a special get-together with board games and snacks on Christmas Eve with family and friends will do the trick. Try something new, and it might just become one of your most loved traditions!
6. Ask for a back rub
Human contact and touch can be incredibly soothing physically and mentally. Ask someone you are comfortable with to give you a back rub (or foot or hand) to release some of the tension that has built up in your body. If you have some essential oils on hand for aromatherapy, dilute a few drops in oil (such as olive, coconut, or almond, etc.) and have a friend use that for your massage. Relaxing essential oils like lavender, chamomile, and ylang ylang are easy to find in local health stores as well as grocery stores, and are always good to have around.
7. Rest up
It may seem impossible at times, but a nap here and there might just be what you need. Also try to get a nice long sleep in at night, being rested makes a huge difference in your overall mental and physical health. Having the energy to tackle obstacles in life is very important. If you are not getting enough sleep at night, there’s no doubt it is contributing to your high stress levels during the holidays. Before bed try not to think too much about the things that you have to do and the people you have to deal with, clearing your mind before bed will help you reach a relaxed state to fall asleep. Following the steps above may help you sleep better as well; the hot bath mentioned above before bed can get you to a nice sleepy state to be able to fall into your bed and asleep!
How do you relax during the holidays?