Managing Stress: 6 Ways to Not Freak Out This Holiday

I’m going to keep this quick and easy, given that I’m about to embark on my first activity of about 500 scheduled for this next week. I’m very excited for all the festivities, and yet I know that the thing that gets me every time, every holiday, since as long as I can remember, is this: If you don’t take a timeout, you will have a freakout. The nonstop people coupled with the nonstop consumption can leave one energetically exhausted, cursing that last piece of cake (cocktail, cookie, candy cane), and praying for a vacation… from your vacation. Here are six foolproof ways to stave off a holiday meltdown:

Take a bath. In a full house, the bathroom can be the only safe haven from that crazy uncle or those sugar-charged nieces and nephews. Turn down the lights, light a candle, and give yourself twenty minutes of alone time. It will go a long way.

Take a walk. Whether you need an escape, or want some QT with someone you don’t see all that often, walks are the one type of exercise anyone can do anywhere. Most of us forgo our fitness routine during the holidays, so daily walks are a great way to not totally lose that yoga tone.

Watch your alcohol intake. At this time of year, drinking can happen every single night. Everyone’s different, but alcohol can be a real buzz kill the next day. My plan is to pre-plan which nights are for partying and need to end with just a glass or two of wine.

Don’t overdo the sugar. Easier said than done, don’t I know it. Last Christmas, I went all out on the treats and I came home with a bonafide I’ve-got-the-shakes-for-sugar addiction. I’ve vowed to be a little more careful this year, while still indulging here and there when it’s worth it.

Smell something other than cookies. We’re coocoo for aromatherapy. If you’re one of the converted to Lotus Wei, Essence of Vali, Hope Gillerman, or other purveyors of powerful, healing smells—keep that bottle handy. It only takes a moment to take a deep inhalation and switch up the internal energy, even as chaos rules around us.

Feel gratitude. For your family. For your gifts. For the time you get off of work. Remembering to be grateful at this time of year, as always, offers a quick reality check when you’re screaming inner teenage self tries to rear her ugly head (which happens to the best of us around family, am I right?).

Have a wonderful holiday weekend, and we’ll be back with sporadic postings next week!

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2 Responses to “Managing Stress: 6 Ways to Not Freak Out This Holiday”
  1. comagirl says:

    Excellent post! I (deliberately) hiked every day this weekend, even before the big Christmas dinner I was preparing. It was so wonderful. The Pacific Ocean was like glass and from our vantage point it seemed like the sound was turned off on the whole world. It was breathtaking, refreshing and revitalizing, (plus the air was fragrant of sage and rosemary). Happy Holidays to both of you! Best wishes and much success to you in 2012.

  2. Mimi says:

    I totally bucked tradition (much to my mother’s horror) and went camping in the Redwoods over the holiday. Best Christmas ever with nothing but my man, my dog, a fire and a really nice bottle of Prosecco…it literally was heaven on earth.
    And ditto to what the always spot on comagirl wrote for best wishes in 2012!

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