10 Tips to Destress for the Holidays
Now that Thanksgiving has passed and our tree is up, the holiday cheer is in full swing at the Weber house. I love the cheer and joy all around us but that definitely is accompanied with stress. I find myself stressed about my holiday shopping list, the house staying clean, the mountain of laundry being folded, what I’m going to make for dinner, and my least favorite, someone in the house getting sick. It’s really hard to enjoy all the cheer when anxiety is sharing a chair with me. Because I have some (a lot) of experience with managing stress and anxiety, I’m compiled my top 10 tips to keeping this holiday season a little more cheerful.
10 Tips to Destress for the Holidays
1. No-phone zones:
I really cant stress this enough! (no pun intended) The constant pull to check a phone or see what everyone is doing can seriously be exhausting for your mind! This might be the hardest tip for me to implement but it does make a world of a difference. There are certain hours in the day that I allow myself to check in on social media and play through my phone. Although I do love a good multi-tasking, scrolling through IG while watching a movie with James is definetly not allowing us quality time. If you do feel the need for some multi-tasking while working around the house or driving try listening to a podcast! I’m currently love listening to this podcast whenever I get the chance. I listen to it through the Podcast app, which if you don’t have, you should definitely try out. There are so many great options!
2. Stop comparing:
Luckily Mackenzie isn’t at this stage where she is comparing her toys with other friends but I know it’s just around the corner. It’s so easy to see what others have and feel that tinge of desire. Don’t lie, everyone can do it. Especially when you throw social media into the mix! It’s fun scrolling through and seeing all the beautiful décor, holiday outfits, or the newest sales. It’s so easy for me to get sucked down the rabbit hole and waste precious hours of my day! If I find myself comparing my life with someone else highlight real, I stop and think about everything I have to be grateful for. If you need a more visual reminder, try this book. It has really helped to keep my mind in a positive and grateful space.
3. It’s okay to limit visiting time:
If visiting with a family member is going to cause you more stress than happiness, you don’t have to do it! Keep the visit short and sweet with a quick bite and catch up. Saying no doesn’t make you a bad person, it makes you a strong person who takes care of themselves. Another way to keep visits light is by planning a fun activity! Try going for a hike or hitting up a pottery painting place. Get creative!
4. Play music:
You don’t have to be like me and have Christmas tunes playing on repeat but having some type of music playing through out the day really helps to refocus and relieve stress. I’ve also been known to belt out songs in the car at the top of the lungs if I’m really having a tough time. I promise it helps. I listen to all my music through Spotify because it’s so simple to use and literally has everything. Right now this playlist has been my all time favorite!
5. Have a regular bed time routine:
Obviously this is something you can do year round but getting regular sleep during the holidays allows your whole body to reset and keeps your immune system strong during the sick season. I have even started diffusing oils in our bedroom and using this pillow spray. If I don’t get a goods nights rest, my whole day seems to be thrown off. Your routine doesn’t need to be lavish but just a little something to tell you body it’s time to start winding down for the night.
6. Ditch the coffee (if you can):
I have been off coffee for about 6 months now and I can totally tell a difference. I’m not as agitated and have more patience with life’s little annoyances. I have also noticed a huge difference in my sleep patterns. I am able to fall asleep quicker and sleep more soundly. I have also discovered it’s helped loads with my daily anxiety. On days when I need a little something, I will steep myself a cup of tea which gives me a kick but also helps to nourish my body.
We all know by now that exercise releases endorphins so I won’t beat the dead horse there. In all honesty though, if I’m able to get a work out in (even if it’s a 20 minute stretch session) I find that I am way more productive through out the rest of the day. Most days, I use this workout program which allows me to pick anything I want to do! It’s the Netflix of work out videos. If you don’t have time to do a full work out, just get outside and go for a little walk! Walking around target does count, just so you know.
8. Create a list and stick to it:
Now this is specifically for the holiday season. The last few years I have planned out (and written down!) exactly what gifts I’m going to get for family, friends, teachers, and bosses. Not only does this allow me to budget for everything but it also doesn’t allow me to go astray. I don’t throw random things into my cart and then kick myself when I get the bill. It may sound small, but it’s been huge for us! My husband and I sit down together and write out the list, and then I look for sales and get to shopping. Oh! and if you haven’t done your holiday shopping through amazon, you’re really missing out.
This isn’t limited to gift lists though! Make a grocery list before you head to the store and I promise you that you’ll get through it quicker and save some money! I’ve mentioned it on stories quite a few times now but I absolutely LOVE this app for meal planning. It has simplified meal planning down to a science. All my Pinterest recipes are linked as well so I can just add the meals I want to the calendar and the app creates the shopping list for me. I don’t know where I’d be with out this app. Try and it thank me later because it is a game changer.
9. Take a trip down memory lane:
If you’re a sap like me, this is a fun one. Last night I found myself lost in thought remembering Christmas time when I was a little girl. Remembering setting up our tree as a family and my dad and I making the most incredible ginger bread creations. I seriously wish I had a picture to show you guys! I remember one year I was really into Cinderella so he made me Cinderella carriage. It was truly amazing! Just thinking back on the good memories filled me up with joy. I’m hoping to pull out some pictures this weekend and share some of my childhood memories with Mackenzie while we create our own!
Sounds super simple right? It is! If I find myself feeling overwhelmed or anxious I take a second to breath. Breath in through your nose for 5 seconds, hold for 3 and out through your mouth for 8 seconds. This really does allow my mind and body to calm down and relax.
Something that I remind myself (and my 6 year old) almost daily, is that the ONLY thing that you can control, is you. You can choose to get bogged down in chaos, or feeling negative about things. Or you can focus on positive things and enjoy little moments through out the day. Don’t let the holiday crazies ruin such a magical time of year!
I hope you found these tips helpful and I’d love to hear any tips you have to staying sane during the Holiday season!