The rush up to the holidays is leaving me feeling mentally drained, and I am sure I’m not the only one! Not only is our mind drained, but our wallets too. We rush all over the place buying the perfect gifts, then have to gift wrap and hide them. Then there is the house to clean (boo!) and decorate (yay!), and a menu to prepare. Food and beverages must be purchased, people must be invited, and then the real work starts. The preparation of innumerable meals, and then the kitchen and house needs to be cleaned again (double boo!!). Sometime during this rushing around you’re going to have to stop and take a breather. It’s important to take care of yourself. Allow some time to destress during the holidays.

7 Ways to Take Care of Yourself & Destress During the Holidays - BusyBeingJennifer.com

Here are 7 ways to take care of yourself and destress during the holidays:

  1. Tell a white lie. Let your family think you’re out buying gifts for them, when you’ve really booked yourself into a spa, where you’ll be pampered from head to toe. Get your hair done, and enjoy a mani/pedi. There is absolutely nothing wrong with spoiling yourself a little!
  2. Assign tasks to family members. It doesn’t make sense that you should have to do all the work. A teenager is old enough to do the dishes and clean up the kitchen. Assign your partner to make a salad, or their favorite dessert. While they’re working you can slip out for a breather. Just say you’re off to use the bathroom, then lock yourself in for a good 20 minutes.
  3. Take your vitamins, supplements and drink your water. Most people have a cupboard full of vitamins that they’ve forgotten about. It’s time to remember their purpose. Begin by taking them when you’re so swamped with baking, that you forget to eat properly. And dink lots of water! 
  4. Walking is one of the best forms of exercise. Sneak outside every now and then for a trip around the block. It will elevate your heart rate, and move oxygen through your muscles. You’ll come back feeling refreshed, and ready to prepare the next meal.
  5. Buy a cooling face pack. These can be kept in the fridge, and then removed at bedtime. Place one over your face to help you to get asleep. They’ve also perfect if you’ve built up a tension headache over the course of the day from running all over the place.
  6. Designate one day where you don’t do any work at all. It may be the day to order in pizza, or eat TV dinners. Put your feet up and relax. Read books. Do the bare minimum and let your family tend to themselves for a little bit.
  7. If you find you are suffering from panic or anxiety attacks during the holidays, learn how to do breathing exercises. One particularly effective one is the box breathing technique. Think about how a box has four different sides. Breathe in for a count of four seconds. Hold it in for another four seconds. Breathe out for four seconds. Then hold your breathe for four seconds, and repeat.

Never forget that you can’t do ALL the things if you’re totally worn out, sick or stressed to the point of a break down. I’ve learned the hard way over these last few years that over doing it only leads to more stress and work for myself. So take care of yourself and find some time to destress during the holidays!

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4 Responses to 7 Ways to Take Care of Yourself & Destress During the Holidays

  1. Rosie says:

    These are all good suggestions – and I’m not one to be into alternative ideas, but I learned about the breathing technique and it works! When you can’t get away for a walk or sneak off to a spa, find a place to do this!

  2. Re #2: While we were getting ready for Thanksgiving, I suddenly realized that I wasn’t asking my 8 year old to do his fair share, even though he was going to reap the rewards (a.k.a. cranberry sauce and pie, his favorites.) So I gave him a list of things to do, and said it was his responsibility to come back for more when he ran out of jobs. He did, with minimal issues, and he was perfectly fine with it. It was such a change of mindset for me to move from “it’s my job to get this done” to “it’s everyone’s job to get this done.” And the morning went much more smoothly.

  3. bethwade1 says:

    This is so important! #6 is something I struggle with all the time- I have a huge guilt complex that’s linked to my not being productive. But when trying to do everything this season means you end up horribly sick and miserable, unable to enjoy all your hard work…definitely not worth it! Thanks for the reminder. 🙂

  4. Helene says:

    I promise lying to family members will INCREASE not decrease my stress this holiday! Be honest and let them know you are taking some time for yourself. They will be glad for the cheerier you!

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