I’m so there – I’ve got the holiday frazzle. You know, when you can’t concentrate because you’re thinking of the 10 to-do lists scattered around your house. You have to still put up your holiday decorations and your credit card’s on the verge of combustion from overuse. Even Christmas tunes can’t sooth your spinning head.
Yeah, I’m definitely there.
My boyfriend and I are actually heading to California to see his family, and then Arizona to see mine, tomorrow. We’ll be gone over the next week & a half, and this past week has been crazy – substantially adding to already high stress levels. Today, I finally had to take a good minute or two to just sit & breath. Since our holiday celebrations are in between Thanksgiving and Christmas, we are greatly reducing the holiday travel stress and actual Christmas day will be really relaxing & quiet. We’ll be driving along the CA coast and staying with multiple family members & friends until we reach my parents in AZ. We love to travel, so it should be EXCITING! Especially being able to enjoy the coast and warmer weather – a welcome change from the East coast. But during the time away, we’ll also be quite transient so there is a lot to take into consideration when packing tonight since we will be driving [hello healthy travel snacks!] and also we’ll be taking part in many different activities along the way [from lounging & cozy dinners in, to going out with friends at night].
Throughout the duration of our trip, and during the rest of the holiday season, there are a few tips I’m going to really try to embrace to keep the holiday celebrations fun instead of frustrating. Below are my faves – 5 relaxing ways to reduce the stress & keep you glowing throughout this joyous time of the year!
- Give yourself a facial, mani/pedi, or indulge by scheduling yourself a massage. Pampering and physical touch can be so healing during stressful times.
- Keep hydrated and lay off the caffeine & alcohol. I know that with the many parties and family get-togethers its difficult to avoid alcohol, and then the coffee needed the next morning to get you moving after a long night out – but these beverages are likely to dehydrate your system and leave you feeling super worn out. Your adrenals will thank you, especially! Keep a bottle of water with you at all times, and spruce it up with citrus wedges, herbs such as mint or basil, and also cucumber slices to keep you sipping all day long. Herbal tea is a great alternative if you’re looking for a warmer drink!
- Take a bath. If you have access to a bath tub, use it. There is little else that compares to the instant relief of soaking in a tub – a little epsom salt & apple cider vinegar adds a detoxifying element, and essential oils create a soothing atmosphere that gives your bathroom a spa-like feel.
- Keep a gratitude journal. By writing down everything you’re grateful for, you life your own spirits by taking a moment to say a word of thanks for all that you’re fortunate to have. Your loving partner, a well-paying job, the ability to have a coffee date with a friend? Those are the foundation of what keeps us going in life – surrounding your heart with love, supporting yourself by working hard, and keeping a close network of friends to lean on, are all things you are lucky to have and experience. Embrace that.
- Take an afternoon to pick up around your house, light a couple candles, and sit down with an inspirational read. By keeping your space clean you’re creating an organized atmosphere – taking away any chaos that might have been present before. Lighting candles has a calming effect, and reading a book that inspires you gives you hope – something that might go missing in times of craziness.
Try this, too : In a small saucepan on your stove, simmer water with cinnamon sticks, a rosemary bundle, or whole cloves. You can even throw in citrus peel for a refreshing scent that’ll fill your house for hours. My favorite combos are . .
- cinnamon sticks + orange peel
- whole cloves + ginger root
- ginger root + rosemary + orange peel
- or a mix of it all! cinnamon sticks + whole cloves + ginger root + orange peel + rosemary
We live in a culture in the US where the holiday season is oftentimes a splurge fest [credit cards & libations!] and we have a million + one things on our lists to complete by a very specific deadline and the holiday cheer can easily be forgotten. This year, though, try to slow down, take care of yourself, and enjoy the season – a special time with family & friends, holiday music, and reflection on the year coming to a close.
Participate in these relaxing practices and you’ll be much better off when spreading holiday cheer! ‘Tis the season for giving – so give yourself a break. You’re much more likely to enjoy the holiday celebrations, and keep your cool while traveling, too.
What are your favorite ways to avoid the holiday frazzle??