Raise your hand if the holiday season often brings about unnecessary stress.
I can definitely relate. I’ve always considered myself a Christmas elf and I love everything about the season. However, there have been years that made me want to throw in the towel on the whole shebang. Sometimes I just need a break and there’s none in sight.
So, I went on a quest to find the best self-care specifically for Christmas time. These tips are guaranteed to put you in a holly jolly mood (or just help you wind down after a long day). These are tried-and-true and I’ve been working them into my own schedule this year, creating a very pleasant and relaxing season!
From Halloween through New Year’s Day, I work my tush off. Creating a self-care routine with a holiday vibe has helped keep the stress and overwhelm under control.
Start by actually scheduling time off. This might seem easier said than done, especially if you’re self-employed or working from home, but when you prioritize time for yourself (even just fifteen minutes of it in the middle of your day), you’re going to feel better. That being said, here are some of my favorite ways to enjoy holiday self-care.
Put on your favorite holiday music – This could be some upbeat Mariah Carey tunes or it could be soothing Christmas jazz. My personal favorites? Lindsey Stirling, Pentatonix, and Tori Kelly! I actually listen to a lot of instrumental holiday playlists while I’m working to help me remain upbeat. Just because I love all of you so much, I’ve created two Spotify playlists for this season. One is instrumental and the other includes vocals (so there’s something for every mood).
Bake some Christmas cookies – My mom always says that baking is one of the best stress-relievers and I think she’s right! At the end of a long day, just getting into the rhythm of mixing ingredients and ending up with a fun treat at the end is super satisfying. Looking for something new to try? I love chewy molasses cookies.
Watch a cheesy movie – There are hundreds of holiday movies to choose from, so whether you’re a fan of the ultimate cheese of Hallmark films or you love a classic like White Christmas, there’s something to satisfy your binging desires. If you need some recommendations, I have over 60 awesome Christmas movies on this list.
Wrap gifts – This might not seem relaxing for everybody, but I know there’s a kindred spirit out there who loves wrapping gifts as much as I do. Don’t worry about perfection, just set out all the supplies you’ll need and have at it by the Christmas tree. I like to turn on one of those cheesy movies or listen to an audiobook while I work. It’s actually quite relaxing and I’m getting something productive done simultaneously.
Go for a walk in the chilly weather – This one feels pretty self-explanatory. There is actual scientific proof that cooler weather is excellent for the body and getting your blood pumping out in the cold, winter sunshine is a great way to relieve stress. Make a point to get outside and move your limbs, even if the cooler temperatures aren’t your favorite thing.
Have a festive spa night – Light your favorite scented candles or put some cinnamon and orange essential oils in a diffuser to create the right atmosphere. Then drop a soothing bath bomb or bubble bar into the tub, pour a mug of spiked spiced mocha, and unwind while listening to some of that holiday music I mentioned earlier. You’ll feel yourself relaxing in no time.
Read a Christmassy book – Reading is my ultimate form of self-care and I make a point to read for at least an hour or more every day. I read before bed rather than checking my phone and I listen to audiobooks while doing mindless tasks. There are so many amazing holiday-themed books and my very favorite is Finding Christmas.
Go see the bright holiday lights – Whether this means mapping out a tour of tacky homes or trekking to a local light show, seeing Christmas lights always puts me in a better mood! I enjoy going to drive-through light shows with my husband. Even though it is sometimes a super long wait to get into the event, seeing all those beautiful lights was so worth it. We also enjoy our local botanical garden that gets decked out with thousands of festive lights each year!
Buy something for yourself – Tis the season for giving, I know, but hear me out. Sometimes in the hectic activity of shopping for all your loved ones, you find something that just speaks to you. Sure, you can try to add it to your own wishlist and hope someone else gets it for you, but treating yourself isn’t always a bad thing – especially with the crazy amounts of sales going on. Opening up a box that you know contains something you’re really thrilled about can totally boost your spirits!
Do absolutely nothing – Sometimes you don’t want to think, do, or go. That’s okay. After my 10+ hour workdays, I often find myself turning on a Christmas ambiance video on YouTube and just sitting there staring into space. The mind needs time to recharge. If you want slightly more activity without exerting any additional energy, try a Headspace meditation!
These are great suggestions! I love all of these ideas! I may have to pick a copy of Finding Christmas, it sounds adorable.
Thanks for sharing your tips to relieve holiday stress.
Love all of these ideas! Doing absolutely nothing sounds so nice right now lol! And I love your taste in music. You’re my kind of gal! 😉
I neeeeed to take some of this advice this weekend – I am in quarantine post-travelling and so can’t even leave my parent’s basement and STILL have been so overwhelmed with busyness! I’m determined to block off some time to do nothing this weekend. Also, Im putting one of your spotify playlists on now to have in the background while i work! Thanks for making those!
I can’t believe we both published the same post today Stephanie, how weird is that! So obviously I’m going to agree with all these points you made! x
Lucy | http://www.lucymary.co.uk
I like upbeat music and I listen to it sometimes in the morning haha. Definitely, we need to do something for ourselves.
I love these tips! Christmasy books and wrapping gifts are definitely a stress reliever for me. Wrapping is so therapeutic. To make it manageable I wrap them as I receive them so I don’t have to do them all at once!
Self-care is the best care! A lot of people forget about taking care of themselves in the midst of getting ready for the holidays. I love your personal tips for dealing with stress that you have shared with us. It is important that everyone finds their own ways to deal with holiday stress that works for them and tries to exercise practicing them.
I need to create my own spa night! That sounds so luxurious! I’ve been purchasing, wrapping, writing, blogging, doing social posts…etc. It’s a busy time for sure. I truly need the mental and body break that even a bath would afford!
I love cheesy holiday films too! Even though the acting is terrible in movies such as the Princess Switch and the Christmas Prince, I love them all anyway. It’s funny how I had a friend over yesterday who kept mocking my Christmas film choices, but I countered with “hey, it’s Christmas.” Come to think of it, some of the best Christmas films are also the cheesiest, aren’t they? Also, my favorite holiday film is The Holiday! I’ve watched it every year for the past three years, and I can’t wait to watch it again this year.
Thanks for sharing your list of ways to relieve stress this festive season. Wishing you and your loved ones a very Merry Christmas! 🙂
They are great tips. Incidentally Indian holidays/festivals are spread out over the course of the year so there is no big stress on any one time but I do see my American friends getting overwhelmed in December a lot.
These are awesome ways to relieve stress, especially during the Winter and holiday season! When I feel stressed, I try to meditate and exercise! Those seem to help me a lot.
cute & little
I needed this right now, my love! I’ve been SO busy these past few weeks and I’m having a full week off from Monday and it cannot come soon enough. It’s so needed. I just desperately need to switch off from work, my blog and social media and just… do whatever I want! It’s so important to take some time for yourself this time of year x
I’m usually not terribly stressed during the holidays, it’s one of my favorite times of year…but this year has definitely been different. These are such great ideas to help relieve some of the stress of the season!
I love these ideas! I’ve been super busy for the past 3 months, being employed full time whilst working on my blog AND Christmas time with my small business was not easy, but I managed to do it, pretty happily as well! Just wish my work hours weren’t 44 hours a week minimum… I would love to spend more time on self care!
✨ Marissa Belle × marsybun.com ✨
I really needed this post! I have felt so especially stressed and overwhelmed the last week.
These are all perfect ideas!! I love watching holiday movies and wrapping gifts!!
These are great tips! I’m all in for the festive spa night. My favorite way to unwind.
This is so helpful because with Adaclaus, and my holiday workload, along with holiday general stress, I am literally constantly stressed. This is so helpful!
I have felt so stressed and overwhelmed the last week so I spend the weekend visited some great places in Bali! That was indeed relief my stress 😀 I really need these tips from you x
Such great ideas! I do find myself doing many of these when I need a break during the busy holiday season. I’ll have to add reading something Christmas-y.
This season always makes me feel stressed out, just with the gift giving aspect alone. Getting gifts my peeps will love! I like your suggestions of talking a chilly walk – I try to walk my dogs everyday, no matter how cold! Getting outside is great for my self care and my dogs too!
Thank you so much for sharing this! Sometimes we get so caught up in the stress and doing all the things that we forget to actually enjoy the moments with our family.
I love cooking, in general. and it is a huge stress reliever for me!!!! But I should probably do more than just that!!
these are all great tips for stressful holiday season!
I love these ideas! Sometimes you really just need to veg out and watch a cheesy movie! I recently took some time away from my long to-do list to watch Princess Switch 3 and the cringe was real, but it was definitely entertaining! Wishing you a wonderful holiday season!
Ooh these are all such good ideas, especially going for a walk in the colder weather! Luckily for me, my dog needs his walks and I’ve grown to love chilly mornings, and I can confirm, it’s done wonders for my mental health!
I feel like I want to do absolutely nothing! I’m always doing something or feeling like I need to do something. Really need a bit of a break hah.
These are all great ideas! I quite like going for a walk because I usually hate the idea, but then when you’re out there it’s refreshing and you can get the space you need to clear your mind a little. Plus, you appreciate getting home in the warm so much more. I’d actually like to take a short drive around town one of the nights soon to check out the lights. That’s a really good idea. I don’t go out on the evenings since getting sick, so it’s been years since I’ve really seen or been able to appreciate all the prettyness. xx
These are fab tips to de-stress during the holiday season.
I love that you have wrapping gifts on this list. It’s one of my favourite things to do! I’ve even considered volunteering at those wrapping stations in the mall because I enjoy it so much haha. And cheesy Christmas movies are always a good relaxing time too 🙂
Ok, now I just want to spend the day doing ALL of these things!! Lol such great ideas. I actually really like wrapping presents too! For me it’s a pretty mindless activity that still keeps me moving a bit, and I love to put on a cheesy Hallmark Christmas movie while I do it. P.s. spiked spiced mocha?! YUM!
These are some brilliant tips! I do think sometimes Christmas can be stressful with so much to do and presents to buy and so on, so it is important to take a step back and just do nothing like you said. I also like running, going for walks and seeing the lights and having that Christmas music and movies on xx
Definitely going to follow your instrumental holiday playlist! I need instrumental music for writing/working but I’d love to add some festiveness. These are great tips!
I feel so much and loved reading this article. Like you, I am so horribly overwhelmed with work and life in general…so many people to see, things to do, places to be at…I just wish we could slow down! I will need to get on to some of these stress relief activities and try my best to stay grounded a bit x
It’s so true. I’m in the need of relaxation and a cheesy holiday movie.
I agree that while the holidays can be an exciting time of year, they can also be overwhelming. I really like the idea of a holiday-specific self care routine. Thank you for sharing such great ideas! I hope you have a beautiful holiday season.