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How to Deal with Stress at Home During the Holidays

How to Deal with Stress at Home During the Holidays

Getting through the holidays can be difficult with all the planning and preparing, but it doesn’t have to be. With everything that goes into making the holiday great, one of the most overlooked activities is self-care. Taking care of yourself is the key to creating and surviving an amazing holiday season and whether you are visiting family in Vancouver, BC, or planning a holiday gathering in Boston, MA, here is how to deal with stress at home.

Person reading a book drinking tea

Take the time to practice self-care at home

Self-care is important for your mental health, so it’s worth taking the time to care for yourself. Try these three self-care skills over winter break:

  • Let things be perfectly imperfect: Life’s too short to worry about things being perfect. When you let life flow, the beauty of imperfection is all around us – you just have to look for it!
  • Ask for help: The most helpful thing you can do for yourself is to ask someone else. Whether that person is a coach, mentor or therapist, they will give support in different areas of your life, so let them know what’s going on regarding clarity and motivation!
  • Get some much-needed rest: The perfect time to catch up on your favorite books, movies, or T.V. series is when you’re lying in bed. There’s nothing better than curling up with a fantastic read and getting lost for hours!

Goals A.F

Don’t overbook your schedule – honor your boundaries

My number one tip for de-stressing during the holidays is making sure to honor your boundaries. That means making time for YOU, and not overloading your schedule, but also knowing when to say no so that you can be the best version of yourself for your loved ones. – Elle Bernfeld Therapy

Clean the interior of your home 

De-clutter and clean your living space before decorating!  People always minimize the effect that our environment has on our moods and stress levels. Nothing will feel better than having a clean and festive home to enjoy watching Netflix Holiday movies by the fire.

Put off major house projects until after the holidays. Your home is supposed to be a festive and stress-free sanctuary this time of year, so the last thing you want is to be arguing with your spouse about laminate versus hardwood floors the night before you’re supposed to host a cookie decorating party. – Revitalize Wellness Therapy

Energize the mind and body with relaxation and meditation

The holidays are a great time to renew your energy after a stressful year. Take advantage of this break from work and set aside “me time.” Relaxation and meditation, along with stretching and light exercise, can melt away stress and anxiety while energizing both mind and body. – Patient Bond

Take a step back and enjoy yourself

Why are the Holidays both exciting and stressful at the same time? For many people, the joyful holiday spirit is mixed with worries about having enough time, money, and energy to deal with the whirl of activities and expectations that intensify during this time. I suggest taking a step back from it all to set some realistic limits on what you can do — it will create space in your schedule to relax and truly enjoy yourself! – A Time for Expression

Pamper yourself over the holidays at home

Holidays are the perfect time to take care of yourself. Spend time preparing healthy food. Sleep in until you feel rested. Binge-watch your favorite movies. Spend time doing the things that bring you joy and don’t feel bad about taking time for yourself. – Westside Behavioral Care

meditation at home

Stay hydrated and moisturized during the cold seasons

One of the most important things you can do to take care of yourself during the holidays is to stay hydrated and moisturized. The hot air from central heating and the cold winds outside are key factors in drying out your skin, so taking care to drink lots of water, using a quality moisturizer and running a humidifier can help you look and feel your best all season long. – Haus of Serpent Fire

Schedule breaks in the day to take time for yourself

Take scheduled breaks. Yes, you might want to keep going but taking breaks – whether it’s lunch or a run or some reading – are incredibly important for lowering stress levels and increasing productivity. It helps clear the cobwebs. – Safety Line Lone Worker

Keep your foundation solid

Holidays are busy and we tend to overextend ourselves. This year, put some relaxation time on your to-do list.

  • Schedule relaxation time on your daily calendar as a time to reflect, relax and rejuvenate. Setting this time aside will allow you to be more present and relaxed during the busy holiday season. 
  • Keep your foundation solid. Maintain the foundational pillars of health: movement, sleep, nutrition and hydration. When stress rises, our foundation tends to be the first to go. Keeping it strong helps bolster your mental and physical health in stressful times.
  • Be present. When feeling overwhelmed, remember to bring it back to the present moment. Getting caught up in the future or the past doesn’t allow us to enjoy the now.

The Ironwood Center

Engage in activities that you’ll enjoy

Self-care doesn’t have to feel like a chore or be overly expensive. Choose activities you are comfortable with and actually enjoy. Focus on your needs first. By being able to pinpoint what you and your body need in terms of nourishment, you can be intentional with your self-care routine and choose an activity that fits your needs rather than indulging in a random activity that you won’t benefit from. Notes by Thalia

Use essential oil salves to care for your tension

When I can’t endure one more conversation with Aunt Karen and holiday tension has filled my muscles, I unwind by whipping up a batch of my miracle salve. I mix up this soothing salve in a moisturizing base of olive and coconut oils and infuse it with tension-relieving essential oils like rosemary, peppermint, and lavender. After applying the salve, my tension melts away, my house smells amazing, and I have leftovers to put in jars for last-minute gifts. – Blissed Mama

Spend time with people you love

Feed your soul with warm memories, spend time with loved ones (human and furry), and put aside your to-do list for a few hours each day. Reconnect with yourself without letting the outside world cloud your thoughts, and you will be able to take in all the wonderful experiences that life has to offer. – 7 Oaks Bodywork and Massage

Prioritize your needs before others

Whilst rest and recovery are usually in focus in December, this year, you are going to need to up the ante. 

  • Know that you can not pour from an empty cup.
  • Prioritize you (yes YOU, first!).
  • Do things that light you up and bring you joy.
  • Avoid stress wherever possible. Where you can’t avoid a stressful situation, use simple strategies to find calm amidst the chaos.

 – Alison Coughlan

Know how much you can handle

Don’t take on more than you can handle so you can avoid the risk of stress during the holiday season. This may look like setting healthy boundaries, knowing your limitations (mentally and physically), giving yourself space, and being comfortable with saying ‘no’ to make sure you are not putting too much on your plate. – Self-Care Overload

Recharge by participating in your favorite hobbies

A great way to relax during the holiday season at home is spending time doing one of your favorite hobbies. It allows for creativity to flow through your energy channels giving you a sense of yourself again. If you don’t currently have a hobby try something new; it will help get your mind off your every day and help you to feel recharged. – At Peace Massage Co.     

Create an atmosphere that you can unwind in

Nothing increases my anxiety quite like clutter and mess, particularly this time of year with the added chaos of holiday decorations. For me, a clear space is a clear mind, so the first step in my self-care routine is tidying up. Part of my “me time” includes creating a spa experience at home – I light my favorite scented candles and draw a warm bubble bath with essential oils like lavender and chamomile for ultimate relaxation. Sometimes I’ll meditate while soaking, or I’ll opt to watch a feel-good show, like HBO’s “We’re Here,” which really helps me unwind and destress during the festive season. – AURA Hair Care