A lot of people associate the holiday season with STRESS, and while it is understandable why as the holidays can bring about stress over such things like shopping for gifts, spending money on these gifts, seeing or visiting family, dealing with crowds and traffic, having to juggle a handful of holiday parties and so on. There’s also a lot to do before celebrating the holidays, between cooking, cleaning, wrapping, and so forth. But at the end of the day, the Holidays should be a joyous time when you get together with loved ones and build new memories.
With all of the stress, to-do’s, and busyness surrounding the holidays they can also be a time when you forget to still take care of yourself, but don’t let that be the case this year. Here are my favorite ways to stay balanced through the holidays, regardless of what I have going on. My own December month is pretty much booked every weekend with holiday events up until Christmas, as I’m sure you can relate to, so I hope these ideas help YOU…
Tips for Reducing Stress and Staying Grounded Through the Holidays
Spend 5-20 minutes a day working on your meditation practice. It will help keep sickness at bay, and also can help clear your mind, reduce stress, and bring you into the present moment. For more information on how to cultivate a meditation practice click here.
If you are stressed about spending money on gifts this year, why not make a homemade gift instead? Some of my favorite gifts I have received have been homemade…You can make a bracelet, sea salt scrub, candle, and so on. Pinterest has tons of ideas for homemade gifts! If you don’t have money to spend on gifts, that’s OKAY. There are plenty of unique ways to GIVE around the holiday season, so get crafty or you can forgo gifts altogether. For 20+ years, my best friend and I would exchange gifts, but a few years ago we decided to stop the gift exchange, and instead get together for a nice dinner and deep conversation. To me this is priceless, and means so much more than any gift. If shopping for so many people is overwhelming you, take a look at your list and see who you may be able to arrange a new tradition with this year instead of the standard gift-giving.
Enjoy a cup of Tulsi tea, daily
This is my go-to tip for anyone stressed out, Tulsi (or Holy Basil) is an adaptogenic herb that makes your body more resilient to mental and physical stress, while helping to relax your nervous system. The Organic India Tulsi Tea line is my favorite.
Nourish your body
Do not let the holidays be an excuse to over-consume food and treats (healthy or not). The best thing you can do to stay grounded this season, is to continue to feed your body properly. To do this, practice self-control and mindfulness. And remember a mindful splurge is okay too. But over doing it can wreak havoc on your mood, blood sugar levels, hormones, and more. Challenge yourself to making 1 new healthy recipe a week in December, this will help you to have healthy food on hand, and make it easier to stay focused on nourishing your body properly.
Make time for YOU
Regardless of your long list of to-dos and everything you have going on, still make time for YOU. Carve out 15-20 minutes each day to do something for you- Whether that’s taking an essential oil bath, reading a book, enjoying a warm cup of tea by the fire and so on. And once a week, commit to taking 1-2 hours for you, doing something you truly enjoy- Maybe taking a yoga class, going hiking, or getting together with friends. Whatever it is that will help feed your soul, take care of your spirit, and reduce any stress you may be feeling related to the holidays.
Start a gratitude journal
While you may be stressed because of the holidays, they can be a perfect time to start counting your blessings. Get a journal or notebook and commit to writing down three things you are grateful for each day- This can be in the morning or evening time. Do what resonates with you. This will help you hone in on what is important and make you appreciate all that you have. There is always something to be grateful for, and as they say, gratitude is the best medicine!
Donate your time to a local homeless shelter or retirement home
Helping others who need it is such a rewarding feeling, and a special way you can give back to others in your community. Go online and search holiday volunteer options in your area, and pick a day (or more!) to lend a helping hand. This will put things in perspective, and is such a rewarding way to give this holiday season.
Now that you have some ideas to help you stay grounded through the holidays, how about a nourishing and easy to make pie recipe to sweeten the day? If you want to make something homemade, but don’t want to spend hours and hours in the kitchen this Mostly-Raw Caramel Apple Pie recipe will be a hit! I made it last year for Christmas, and even some of the people in my family who aren’t typically keen on “healthy foods” LOVED it. And aside from an hour of baking, it takes about 20 minutes to make.
Raw Caramel Apple Pie Recipe