Christmas is two weeks away. TWO WEEKS! Any other major procrastinators out there who are freaking out? I haven’t done any of my shopping yet because I’m in such denial that 2015 is almost over…Christmas can’t be this close, it feels like Christmas 2014 just happened…what is going on?! Anyway this time of the year can be really overwhelming in many ways…Christmas shopping stresses me out (I abhor the crowds at the mall, they’re so suffocating), constant socializing stresses me out (hi, I’m an introvert), and while I love the splendor and decorations, let’s face it, those are stress-inducing too.
That being said, it is extremely important to me that I take some time for MYSELF during the holiday season! These are some of my favorite ways to de-stress during the holidays, and while I put these methods into use all year round too, I tend to find them the most handy in December haha ;]
01. Meditate in the shower.
I used to try to meditate to de-stress, but I couldn’t stop thinking about how I was wasting time meditating. Solution? Meditating IN THE SHOWER. Hot showers are relaxing. Meditating is relaxing. So putting the two together is MAGICAL. Plus I’m taking the time to shower anyway so I eliminate that nagging feeling that I’m wasting time. I like to just focus on what the hot water feels like and breathing in the steam. Even if you can only meditate for a minute or two, it makes you feel worlds better.
02. Paint your nails.
You know those Sally Hansen Insta-Dry colors? Those are perfect for the holidays. Because nothing is more annoying than trying to paint your nails and they’re taking forever to dry and they get weirdly smudged. I paint my nails while I’m doing work at my computer. It only takes a couple minutes, so it gives me a small break from working without making me feel like I’m wasting too much time. It’s just a nice little thing to do for yourself and your nails will continue to be pretty for at least a few days.
03. Do a quick HIIT workout.
Do you have 15 minutes to spare? It feels awesome to do a quick HIIT workout and sweat the stress out. My go-to is setting the treadmill to a 7 minute mile, running for 30 seconds and then hopping off for 30 seconds. Repeat for 15 mins. Even though it’s quick and hardly takes up any time, it feels SO GOOD releasing stress and negativity by kicking ass!
04. Surround yourself with candles.
I don’t mean literally sit in a circle of candles. But when I’m feeling stressed out there’s just something calming about having candles lit around the room. My favorite favorite favorite candle scent for de-stressing and relaxing is lavender, but even unscented candles are soothing with their little flickering flames.
05. Give yourself a 20-minute facial.
I try to do this once a week anyway, but it definitely increases in frequency during stressful times haha. My usual facial routine goes from a hot shower/meditation (see tip 1^), releasing negativity and letting the steam clear my pores. Then I use a milky soft cleanser, a sugar scrub, and some witch hazel before applying a face mask (current favorite: Alba Botanica Deep Sea Facial Mask). I always watch YouTube videos or Hulu or something while it’s on (something relaxing!), and after rinsing it I apply a coconut eye cream and extra virgin coconut oil. If you want it to be extra pamper-y, do a hair mask while you’re face masking hehe.
06. Read some Harry Potter.
Or any book you like. But I love reading random Harry Potter chapters when I’m feeling stressed out because the story is so familiar to me and I have so many good memories and emotions attached to the books. I have the Goblet of Fire with me next to my bed and even if it’s just a few pages at a time, it’s nice to visit Hogwarts when my world is overwhelming. Harry Potter makes my heart smile :]
07. Play Christmas music at top volume.
I do this daily. Not gonna lie.
08. Make yourself a hot drink.
Hot drinks are my FAVORITES for a nice, winter-specific de-stress. They’re just so cozy feeling! Oh and if they’re alcoholic they’re just THAT MORE RELAXING…just saying ;] (I love mulled wine and spiked cider!)
09. Buy yourself a treat or two.
The holidays are all about giving and being thankful, but you shouldn’t forget yourself during this season. Be thankful for you! Some of my favorite little treats for myself include a cake pop from Starbucks, a new scented candle, or a pretty lipstick. Buying yourself something little that won’t break your bank account truly goes a long way as a pick-me-up.
10. Go out to eat with someone you love.
This doesn’t always work for me because when I have a lot on my plate, taking a few hours out of productivity time just makes me anxious. But sometimes completely stepping out of the stress is exactly what I need, especially if I’m making myself feel overwhelmed vs things actually being overwhelming (does anyone else do this? Where you just keep thinking about to do lists over and over and freaking yourself out?). You’ll come back from spending quality time with someone important with your heart a whole lot fuller and your head a whole lot clearer.
So that’s how I handle November-December! Which one are you most excited to try hehe. And what are your favorite ways to de-stress during the holidays? I’d love to get some new ideas :]