Are you trying to find ways to relax & recharge, but you can't because the holiday season has you going crazy?
You're not alone.
One study found that 88% of people believe the holiday season is the most stressful time of year. If you want to find ways to recharge so that you can actually enjoy the holiday, you're in for a treat.
We're going to explore a few great ways to relax and recharge.
Who knows? You might be able to enjoy the holiday season this year if you adopt some of these tips.
10 Ways to Relax and Recharge This Holiday Season
1. Spend Time Cooking or Baking
Cooking or baking can be very therapeutic, and it’s the perfect time of year to do it. When you’re in the kitchen, you have complete control of everything – from the ingredients to how you cook the meal and everything in between. Having that control can help ease anxiety and can even be a meditative experience.
It’s okay to indulge a little during the holidays, so bake some cookies and enjoy the process. But if you’ve been overdoing it, cooking a nourishing meal and savoring every bite may help you feel better and ease some of your stress.
Cook your favorite meal or try something new. It doesn’t matter what you make as long as you enjoy it.
2. Make It a Point to "Forest Bathe"
Forest bathing is a thing. And studies show that the practice, called Shinrin-yoku, actually works. The concept is simple.
- Go out in nature
- Spend time in the forest
You can go to a national park or local park, but you want to keep your phone in your pocket and just be alone in nature. In fact, you can do this any day of the week or time of the year. But, with the hectic world that we live in, you definitely need to take some time for yourself.
Studies even show that this great, free practice helps:
- Improve immune function
- Boost psychological effects
- Improves mental health
- Kicks depression to the curb
- Lowers blood pressure
There have been three-year studies showing that this practice really works. Finding happiness is a short walk away, not rushing through crowds in the city.
3. Disconnect for a Little While
Social media, emails, text messages, phone calls – we’re constantly bombarded with information. This holiday season, make it a point to disconnect for a little while. Leave your phone in another room, and just enjoy the present moment in your free time.
And whether you work from home or in an office, make sure that you’re leaving work at work. Those emails and messages can wait until morning.
4. Create an Essential Oils Routine
Do you have essential oils in your medicine cabinet? A lot of our readers do. We love essential oils because they can help energize and alleviate stress.
You can put these oils in a diffuser, or you can apply a drop or two to your wrist.
Here are a few oils to consider:
- Peppermint oil - Perfect for the holiday season. One study found that peppermint was able to prevent fatigue and even improve energy levels.
- Lemon essential oils - Another great-smelling oil. One study found that lemon oils enhance and help uplift your mood – something many of us struggle with during the stress of the holiday season.
- Bergamot - If you're lacking energy, you may want to add bergamot to your daily essential oil routine.
You can also add grapefruit, juniper berry, and thyme into the mix because each of these oils is known to be energizing and uplifting.
5. Start Practicing Meditation
One simple way to relax and recharge this holiday season is to start meditating. Whether it's 5 minutes or 45 minutes, meditation will help calm your mind and give that internal chatter a break.
Mindfulness meditation can be especially helpful for recharging and giving your mind a rest. Just make sure that you have a quiet place to practice. Make it intentional, and don't let distractions get in the way. Turn off your phone. Sit quietly, or play some soft, soothing music if you wish.
Practice regularly (daily if you can) to keep the holiday blues away and your energy levels high.
Many people struggle with meditation because they don't know where to start or whether they're doing it right. Here's a simple guided meditation to help you recharge. Best of all, it only takes three minutes, so it's the ideal choice for beginners.
6. Have Holiday Movie Nights!
Plan a few holiday movie nights to relax and unwind. Not only will it give you some much-needed downtime, but it will also help you get into the holiday spirit.
Choose your favorite holiday movies, or find some new ones to watch. Don't forget to bring some snacks!
7. Have Weekly Self-care Nights
During the holidays, many of us put self-care on the backburner. We're so busy doing things and caring for others (which is important) that we forget to care about ourselves. We can't be our best selves and give others the love and care they need if we're not at our best.
This holiday season, make it a point to have dedicated self-care nights every week. Do it more than once a week if you can. Just taking a few minutes or an hour to do something for you that makes you happy can really lift your mood and help ease stress.
Self-care can be whatever you want it to be:
- Pamper yourself with a relaxing bath. Don't forget the bubble bath or bath bomb.
- Doing your skincare ritual. Go through all the steps, and take your time. Savor each moment.
- Writing in your journal. Get those thoughts out on paper. If you're feeling creative, write a short story.
- Hobbies. Paint, draw, play music, dance, read – do whatever your heart loves.
- Exercising. Getting moving is a great form of self-care because you're taking steps to improve your physical health.
- Cooking a delicious meal. Sometimes, a little comfort food can help kick stress to the curb (as long as it doesn't turn into emotional eating).
When it comes to self-care, the only thing that matters is that you're doing something you love that's just for you. Think of it as a holiday gift to yourself.
8. Start Doing Yoga for 20 Minutes a Day
If you're feeling anxious, stressed, or overwhelmed, a quick yoga practice can help you feel grounded and centered. Just 20 minutes a day is all you need.
Yoga can help bring you into the present moment, but all of that stretching can also ease tension and improve circulation to make you feel more at ease.
If you're not sure where to start, here's a great yoga sequence to help calm your mind and body.
9. Reflect on Why You're Celebrating the Holidays
It's easy to get caught up in the commercial and material aspects of the holidays. Whether it's social media or ads on TV, you're constantly bombarded with messages that make you feel like you should be at every holiday gathering and empty your bank account on gifts.
All of that social pressure can be exhausting and stressful.
But remember – this is not the reason for celebrating the holidays. So, take some time to sit down and reflect on the true meaning of the holidays and why you're celebrating. The holidays have different meanings for everyone, but for many people, this is the time of year that they spend with family and friends making wonderful memories.
Reflecting on the joy and togetherness that you feel during the holidays can help ease stress and make you feel more excited about the days and weeks to come.
10. Don't Be Afraid to Say "No"
The holidays can be hectic and stressful. Between the party invites, holiday shopping, and family gatherings, it's easy to overcommit and feel overwhelmed. Remember that it's okay to say "no." In fact, it's important to say no when your plate is already full.
Saying yes to things you don't have time for or you simply don't want to do will only make the season more stressful. You're doing others a disservice as well because you won't be fully present or committed to the event.
So, this holiday season, don't be afraid to say "no."
The holidays are meant to be fun and exciting, but the stress of them can leave you feeling exhausted afterward. If you follow the tips on ways to recharge and ways to relax mentioned in the previous section, you'll be left with more energy to tackle the year ahead.
Don't forget: take time for yourself!