How to Battle Your Holiday Stress
'Tis the season of not just gifts and bright lights, but stress and illness. Here's a guide on how to help!
December. Loved by many. Hated by just as many. To those who love it, it's a time where it's a winter wonderland—full of wonder and adventure. However, for us, less fortunate souls, 'tis the season that causes the most stress—everything from the bone-chilling temperatures (at least compared to what summer months bring) to finals approaching if you're a student to money issues due to dwindling funds because it's the end of the year and the holiday season to sickness that just seems to hit all of us at some point.
It's a busy time for us all, no matter where we are from or where we are at your points of life. We have to work or go to school, get ready for family traditions and get to gathers, figure out travel plans, buy gifts if that's part of your tradition, and the list goes on. Even writing this, I have to be frank, I'm stressing out thinking about everything that December brings for me.
However, because it's a stressful time of year, there's an even heavier emphasis that we need to take care of ourselves, and though I may have written on some guides before for self-care. This one is going to look a little different and be more focused on these upcoming winter months.
Splurge on your hot drinks.
Tea. Coffee. Hot Chocolate. Oh my! Whatever your choice is, take some time out of your morning or night routine and sit down with a cup of the hottest, most scrumptious drink you can think of. When doing this, try not to rush through. Don't just grab it and go to work or school, or whatever you have planned, but instead sit down and breathe. Turn on some music, or hell, even the TV or a streaming service like Netflix. Let your mind, body, and soul relax. If you need to numb all your worries and let go all that's making you feel like there's a stick up your butt, then do it. Treat yourself. It sounds simple, but by doing this even once a week, it can help.
Bake...but for yourself.
Now for those of us who love to bake, bake! Some of the best ways to relieve stress are by doing stuff that we love. Plus, who doesn't love the smell of cinnamon, freshly baked goods and chocolates dispersing through the air? Just thinking about those aromas is causing chills for me. Make this about you though, and if you want to share, then more the merrier. However, treat yourself and focus on that first and foremost. You're important and you matter, so show that through small actions like baking for your wants. Now, if you have dietary restrictions of any sort, there are loads of recipes that I'm sure you can find and bake or cook through what meets your needs.
You might now be asking though, what if it so happens to be that I hate baking/cooking, but still would love to chow down on sweets? Go to your local bakery and pick out your favorite treats there!
Personally, I know I'll be making some molasses cookies this holiday season.
Find your childlike spirit.
I'm from Minnesota, so when I think of winter, I think of every reason why I used to love it when I was little. I loved ice skating, sledding, making forts and snow angels, sitting by the fire, drinking hot chocolate. However, as I've grown up and became bitter (which just matches the cold that each year we experience here), I have forgotten to do these things that I would look forward to all year long. However, when reflecting upon my own happiness in the winter to limit stress, I know that if I just dove into some of these activities and find my child-like spirit again, then I know it would de-stress me.
And if you're not from somewhere that you have the luxury of indulging in these winter activities, think about what you would do when you were little. Recreate those moments. Go sledding or skiing. Go to an indoor waterpark or amusement park. Spend time with family (though not too much time, we all know how in-laws can get). Rejoice as much as you can, but I won't tell you that you have to be jolly, because I myself relate to Scrooge.
Blankets and Cuddles
Sometimes the best remedy for anything is sleep and warmth. This is the perfect way to cure our stresses and realign our brains. Be a homebody. Have a night in with all your blankets. Share your space with a loved one if you have one, but if not? Be your own comfort. Crawl under the blankets with a candle by your side or with the fireplace crackling or music or tv on in in the background. Reduce your need to escape the colder weather and the stresses by going into our human comfort zone and retreating. A little alone time or shared time by cuddling into a blanket and falling asleep when able to is sometimes just what we need and I encourage you all to do this if possible!
Deal with monetary issues head on.
If money is an issue and the culprit to your stress during the holiday season, well, I'm with you there. It's a common part of our lives because sadly enough, money surrounds our everyday life. However, to ease this stress, find unique ways to make money or save. Personally, I've been on doing as much as I can here and I'll share some of that with you all, and you can choose to do the same or find something else that's a better fit for you.
I've been mainly focusing of reducing my financial stress through making money online when I can. Here is a list of what I've been doing:
- Selling clothes that I don't wear or no longer fit me
- Taking surveys online
- Tutoring online
It's been a slow start, I won't lie to you there, but I have gotten a little somewhere, which is better than nothing, and though not all stress has been relieved. It's at least helped.
I hope you find something in this article that helps. Remember to always choose kind.