Making it through the holiday season stress-free is nearly impossible. However, there are ways to lessen your stress and enjoy this special time of year! If your to-do list already has you pulling your hair out, here are seven ways to stay sane through the end of the year:
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1. More Sleep
Here’s the deal: Lack of sleep amplifies stress. Before you can even fathom taking care of others this holiday season, you must learn to take care of yourself first. That means, as difficult as it is, you need to prioritize sleep.
Not to mention, sleep might just be one of the most underrated gifts out there. Your mom already has a thousand candles but I bet she’d die for better shut-eye. Whether that means gifting her a relaxing night to herself or actually purchasing her a new mattress (because let’s face it, hers is probably 20 years old), we often underestimate just how valuable a good night of sleep can be for our physical, mental and emotional health. My advice to you—don’t only prioritize sleep this season, consider gifting it to others.
P.S. Did you know mattresses now come compressed and rolled in a box? AMAZING. Who would have thought you could actually wrap a mattress?!
2. A Confidant
Speaking of your mom, get yourself a confidant. Of course, it doesn’t have to be your mom, but who else willingly and patiently listens to you rant?!
All jokes aside, whether it’s your best friend, sister, partner, or mom, talk through your anxieties with someone your trust. There is truth in the saying you need to get something off your chest. Endless to-dos have a way of pressing on us, so much so, that it actually feels like we carry the weight of them on our backs. The first step in relieving the pressure weighing on you is to verbalize them. In fact, once you speak your anxieties they seem to lose their power.
Rather than letting issues get blown out of proportion or letting your mind start racing the second your head hits the pillow, get it out of your mind and off your chest!
3. The Perfect Brew(s)
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The best part of my day: pouring a piping hot cup of coffee and adding my peppermint mocha creamer. Come holiday season, that morning cup of coffee might be the only thing to get me through the day. If you aren’t a coffee person, maybe a hot cup of tea will do the trick.
Regardless of your brew, the secret to the perfect cup of coffee is allowing yourself to enjoy it. Even 5 minutes of stillness each morning can have profound effects on your mental and emotional state throughout the day. In fact, you can even find stillness on your morning commute. Crazy as it sounds, all you have to do is turn off the radio and enjoy the silence.
Not a morning person? Have a cup of tea or beer before bed. Your sanity is something you should protect. That means giving your mind and body a moment of stillness each day.
4. Don't Be Afraid to Ask for Help
As humans, we like to think we have it all together. Newsflash: none of us have it together. And that’s okay! As much as you’d like to be the perfect host in the perfect house with the perfect holiday dishes, it’s okay to ask for help if you are baking or decorating yourself into the ground.
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5. Christmas Candle Aromatherapy
Aromatherapy is a wonderful natural remedy to de-stress. What better excuse to have a Christmas candle burning in every room of the house? Here I am going to add a shameless plug for Woodwick Candles. Seriously, people, these things crackle while they burn! Talk about festive. Not to mention, they make the perfect gift.
This is in no way sponsored, I’m just their number one fan.
6. Take a Weekly Sabbath
One of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever received is to pick one day every week and treat it as a Sabbath. Historically, a sabbath is a day of rest observed by abstaining from work. For this exercise, you get to define when and what that looks like for you.
For example, your sabbath doesn’t have to be a whole day. It can be one evening a week or a couple hours on a weekend morning. Once you’ve decided when your sabbath will be, then you can set the parameters for what your sabbath looks like. During the holidays, perhaps your sabbath means absolutely no shopping, cooking, or holiday planning for one whole day each week. Maybe it means taking a break from social media for an afternoon. The key here is to identify what activities cause you to stress and then vow to not do them on your sabbath.
The key is to establish your sabbath and then protect it! Even if only for this season.
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7. A Spirit of Thanksgiving
Last but not least, you’ll need a positive mindset to get you through the holidays without being miserable. Regardless of whether you are religious, remember what this season is for—celebrating family, friends, and all of life’s blessings! Don’t let it pass by in a frenzied blur, but remember to stop and appreciate the reason why you are doing the activities you are doing—hosting meals to commune with the ones you love, giving gifts to family to express your love in a tangible way, and reflecting on just how blessed we are.