Last Updated on January 9, 2024
The holidays are a time of joy and celebration, but they can also be a time of stress and anxiety. Between the parties, the shopping, the family gatherings, and the endless to-do lists, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed during this time of year.
And that takes away from the beauty, the magic, the holiness of the celebration. When we’re exhausted, stressed, and overwhelmed with it all, we aren’t able to appreciate what is happening around us.
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Why are the holidays so darn stressful, anyway?
It’s that time of year again. The holidays are upon us, and for many women, that means stress levels are about to go through the roof. There are a million things to do and it seems like we’re always running around trying to get everything done.
First, the holidays often mean extra work, whether it’s cooking, shopping, or entertaining. In addition, the holidays can be a reminder of our pressures and expectations. We may feel like we have to make everything perfect to enjoy the season.
We’re juggling work, family, and social obligations, and it can be tough to keep everything straight. On top of all that, we’re also expected to look our best and be at our cheery best during the holidays.
It’s no wonder so many of us end up feeling frazzled and overwhelmed. So what can we do to make it through the holiday season without losing our minds?
Take a step back and breathe
Learning how to take a step back and relax amidst the hustle and bustle of the season is key to managing stress.
When you start to feel yourself getting tense or frazzled, take a deep breath and remind yourself that it’s okay to slow down for a moment. Focus on your breath and count to 10 slowly. This will help clear your head and allow you to approach the rest of your day with a more positive attitude.
This is just one quick and simple self-care routine that will give back over and over again when it’s such a busy time of year.
Don’t try to do everything at once–give yourself permission to take breaks when you need them.
And above all, remember that the holidays are supposed to be enjoyable, so don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Relax and find the holiday spirit that is within you.
Relax and breathe, focus your thoughts, then see how many of the Christmas self-care ideas will find their way into your busy holiday season!
12 Christmas Self Care Ideas
1 | Rest
One of the best things you can do for yourself during this busy time is to get enough rest. When you’re well-rested, you’re better equipped to handle whatever comes your way. You’ll have more energy, be less impatient, and be able to think more clearly.
Getting enough sleep can also help reduce the risk of illnesses like colds and flu, which are common this time of year. And who wants to get sick? Not me. And, not you either.
2 | Eat well
The holidays are a busy time for everyone, and it can be easy to let healthy eating habits slide in favor of quick and convenient processed foods.
However, filling up on junk food can actually make holiday stress worse. Not only does it provide empty calories that can lead to weight gain, but it can also cause energy levels to crash, leaving you feeling even more run-down.
When you’re already feeling stressed, the last thing you need is for your body to rebel against you. Eating a balanced diet of whole foods will not only help your body function at its best, but it will also help improve your mood and give you the energy you need to make it through the holiday season.
Eating well can also help to relieve stress by providing your body with the nutrients it needs to function optimally. To make sure you’re getting the most out of your meals, try to include a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains.
And don’t forget to stay hydrated! Drinking plenty of water will help to keep your energy levels up and your skin glowing.
3 | Stay active
There is one simple way to help relieve holiday stress: staying active. Exercise releases endorphins, which have mood-boosting effects.
Even if you can’t avoid all the holiday craziness, you can at least help yourself feel better by getting some exercise. And while you’re at it, you’ll also be getting some much-needed self-care. Women often put their own needs last, but taking care of yourself is essential for maintaining your health and well-being.
So this holiday season, make sure to schedule some time for yourself and do something that you enjoy. Whether it’s going for a walk in the fresh air, taking a yoga class, or just dancing around your living room, staying active will help you feel better and give you the energy you need to get through the holidays.
4 | Me-Time
Scheduling some “me time” into your holiday plans can help relieve stress and provide needed self-care. Taking just 30 minutes out of your day to do something you enjoy can make a big difference in how you’re feeling.
Whether it’s taking a long bath, listening to relaxing music, or journaling, make sure to give yourself some time to relax and rejuvenate. Your loved ones will appreciate a happier, less stressed you during Christmas time. And, you’ll like yourself better, too.
5 | Connect
One of the best things you can do for yourself during this busy season is to reach out and connect with your loved ones. Spending quality time with people who care about you is a great way to relieve stress and recharge your batteries.
Whether it’s a quick phone call with a family member, a cup of coffee with a friend, or even just sharing a laugh together, taking a break from all the holiday preparations to connect with loved ones can do wonders for your mental health.
So go ahead and reach out – your loved ones will be happy to hear from you, and you’ll be glad you took some time for yourself.
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6 | Decorate
One way to help relieve some of the holiday stress is to take some time out for yourself and decorate your home. Whether it’s putting up a few festive lights, decorating the Christmas tree, or creating an elaborate display, the process of decorating can be therapeutic and help you to feel more in control of your environment.
It’s also a great opportunity to get creative and have some fun. So go ahead and indulge in a little self-care this holiday season by decorating your home.
7 | Bake
Spending some time in the kitchen baking cookies can be a great way to relieve stress and practice self-care.
The soothing act of measuring, mixing, and baking can help to clear your mind and provide a much-needed break from the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. Not to mention, the delicious aroma of fresh-baked cookies is sure to put a smile on your face.
My holiday season is not complete until I bake Russian Tea Cakes. Everyone in the family loves them and looks forward to these powdered-sugary, buttery gems. It’s cathartic for me to take a couple of hours and think about nothing but baking cookies. 🙂
8 | Movies
There is one simple activity that can help to relieve holiday stress and provide a much-needed dose of self-care: watching holiday movies. Holiday movies can transport viewers to a simpler time when the only thing on their minds was whether or not they would get the toy they wanted for Christmas.
There’s something about watching your favorite characters experience the ups and downs of the holidays that can make your own stress seem a little bit more manageable. And who doesn’t love cozying up with a blanket and some hot cocoa while watching a holiday movie?
In addition, holiday movies often have feel-good endings that can boost viewers’ spirits and remind them of the true meaning of the season.
What’s your favorite Christmas movie?
9 | Read
Taking some time out to relax with a good book can help to relieve holiday stress and provide much-needed self-care. Reading can help to transport you to another world, where you can forget about your troubles for a little while.
In addition, reading has been shown to reduce stress levels and improve brain function. So if you’re feeling overwhelmed this holiday season, make some time for yourself and curl up with a good book.
How about a holiday-themed book? It can be relaxing and interesting to read something different from our usual fare, and books that include seasonal references and activities can add that extra measure of fun to the story.
- Amazon Kindle Edition
- Ann, Laura (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 154 Pages – 12/02/2020 (Publication Date) – Angel Music Publishing, LLC (Publisher)
- Hardcover Book
- Sparks, Nicholas (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 400 Pages – 09/28/2021 (Publication Date) – Grand Central Publishing (Publisher)
- Calhoune, Belle (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 336 Pages – 09/28/2021 (Publication Date) – Forever (Publisher)
10 | Just say no
The holiday season is a time when many of us feel the need to say “yes” to everyone and everything. However, this can often lead to additional stress and overwhelm.
When you are already feeling stretched thin, it is important to be able to say “no” in order to protect your own well-being. Saying “no” doesn’t mean you are being selfish; it simply means that you are taking care of yourself first.
This doesn’t mean you have to turn down every invitation or cancel all your plans. But it does mean that you should only say “yes” to the things that truly bring you joy. If something feels like a chore, it is probably best to politely decline.
By taking care of yourself first, you will be able to better enjoy the holiday season and all the wonderful things it has to offer.
11 | Reflect
One way to relieve holiday stress is to take a moment to reflect on the meaning of Christmas. What does the holiday mean to you? What are your favorite traditions? What are you most grateful for?
Taking time to think about what Christmas means to you can help you focus on what’s truly important and let go of the things that don’t matter. It can also be a chance to connect with your loved ones and remember why you celebrate in the first place. So this holiday season, take a moment to reflect on the meaning of Christmas. It just might be the best present you give yourself.
Did you know that being grateful can actually help relieve some of that stress? Numerous studies have shown that gratitude has a number of benefits for mental and physical health.
For example, grateful people are more resilient and adaptable in the face of stress. They also tend to have lower levels of anxiety and depression. Additionally, gratitude has been linked with higher levels of self-esteem and satisfaction with life.
So this holiday season, why not try practicing some gratitude? Keep a journal and write down a few things you’re thankful for each day. Or take some time to write a letter expressing your appreciation to someone who’s made a difference in your life.
You may just find that taking a few moments to focus on the positive can make all the difference in how you feel during this busy time of year.
I hope you’ve found these Christmas self-care ideas to be relevant and helpful, my friend. We can’t control the world around us, and we have limited control over those who are close to us, but we CAN control how we act and respond.
Merry Christmas and Happy holidays!