I can already feel the holiday rush in full effect. The holiday sales, Christmas decor everywhere, family gatherings, work parties, and the pressure to make it all unfold seamlessly. Stress seems to go hand in hand with the holidays. Being a mom of a newborn and 4-year-old adds to the chaos but these 10 simple and easy tips help ensure we all have a blissful month with less stress & more holiday cheer! These small steps can help all year by putting them into practice now, so they become habit to ring in a prosperous new year!
Without further ado, the top 10 ways to stress less this holiday season:
- Take an Epsom Salt Bath: I know, I know, you are too busy for a bath and how helpful can it really be? I challenge you to take just one and you will likely be hooked! I was never a bath girl until about a year ago. Once I learned the many health benefits of an Epsom salt bath (detoxification, magnesium boost, affordable self-care, relax sore muscles, reduce inflammation) I quickly understood what all the fuss was about. Try and squeeze in a 10-20 minute soak once a week. You deserve it! Bonus: add a few drops of lavender and frankincense to take your bath to the next level.
- Diffuse Essential Oils: Oils can be very powerful for mood boosters when diffused in the air. We take on average 25,000 breaths a day so the air we breathe can have a real impact on our mood. One of my favorite combos to diffuse is: Wild orange, Lavender, Sandalwood and Clary Sage. Bonus: Clary Sage has been known to help with hormonal balance.
- Meditate: Even if just for 2 minutes a few times a day, giving your mind a mental break will reward you in the long run. Simply set a 2-minute timer on your phone, bookmark a favorite mediation from YouTube, or check out my favorite free app, Omvana. I love this app because they have an endless selection of music, guided meditation, and even series options that build upon each day.
- Move Your Body: Move every day intentionally even if it is just stretching for 10 minutes. Movement is a way to thank the body for all it does, giving it the attention, it deserves to get you through the busy days and long nights. How often do you thank your body for carrying you through the day? Think of all the amazing and wonderful things your body allows you to do. We owe it at least 10 short minutes to honor ourselves. Turn on some music and dance around for 10 minutes. Stretch in bed before rising or check out my favorite free app Zova. They have short 10-minute workouts, choose between stretch, cardio, strength, or core. It will also send notifications to give you a little extra nudge.
- Don’t Overspend: Let’s be honest, money is the root for a lot of stress so don’t go overboard on spending this year. Does your loved one really need that shirt, or will he be okay with a thoughtful handwritten card telling him exactly how much you love, adore, and respect the man he has become? Set limits with family and friends or even better agree to exchange a card and spend time together. I would always prefer time with family or friends at a coffee shop chatting instead of a monetary gift. Affordable and thoughtful gift ideas: handwritten letter, framed sketch that you drew, scrapbook, homemade bath scrub, vegan treats especially anything in a mason jar such as jam, granola, or soup. Check out vivacitybuzz.com for some delicious recipe ideas.
- Set a Daily Affirmation: An affirmation is something that you believe. Even if you don’t believe it 100% of the time, it is something that you are working toward believing. It also provides emotional support and encouragement to yourself. You spend a lot of time supporting others but how much time do you spend reassuring yourself? Start out each day by stating your affirmation in the mirror with conviction. Examples: “I am enough”, “I believe in, trust and have confidence in myself”, “I deserve to put myself as a priority”, etc.
- Limit Your Day to 3 Priorities: Yes, I get it, your to do list may be 20 items long, but you need to have a clear understanding of what is really important. What must you absolutely accomplish today? There should only be 3 each day. Before bed, write down your top 3 action items for the next day so you can rest peacefully knowing you have a plan and wake up knowing what is most important. Tackle the most important tasks first!
- Rest: We all know sleep is important, but it can be challenging with so much on our minds and crazy holiday schedules often involving travel. As hard as it can be, try to wake up and go to bed around the same time each day. If you are having trouble falling asleep, try some breathing techniques. My favorite is to breathe in slowly for 8 counts and out for 8 counts until I fall asleep. It sounds simple but it works. Another favorite is the 4 sets of 4 breath work, which is also great for anxiety. Simply breathe in for 4 counts, hold for 4 counts, breathe out for 4 counts, and hold for 4 counts. Repeat as necessary.
- Give Back: Nothing feels better than giving back! Find a local charity where you can give time or money to those in need. Some great organizations include: Toys for Tots, Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child, Coats for Kids, Local food bank, Soup kitchen, etc. To busy for that? Just go online and donate to the Red Cross or your favorite charitable organization.
- Control Your Blood Sugar: Our schedules tend to be extra busy with impromptu errands and social gatherings popping up; therefore, I always keep a healthy snack handy. When blood sugar drops, we tend to reach for processed unhealthy foods that only make us feel more tired and stressed. I keep a Raw Rev Glo bar in my purse, one in my car, and one in my desk drawer so I am never hangry. The prebiotic fiber and protein help to keep me full and satisfied!
I hope you find these tips helpful in stressing less this holiday season. Implementing even a few will make a noticeable difference. The most important is to be compassionate with yourself knowing you are enough.
Comment below your favorite tip from the list or any others you have found to be helpful. Cheers to a very happy new year with joy and kindness in our hearts.