Keep Calm and Christmas On: 8 ways to de-stress during the holidays

Seriously, who’s the crazy that pushed fast forward on 2016? Because, last I checked it was just July 4th…. Turns out I missed something because we’re almost finished with the entire year!! How in the world did that happen?

Well, let me ask you something. Does your Christmas wish list look a little something like this by now? Maybe it didn’t start that way, but by the time the week of Christmas comes it seems like all possible chaos breaks out. Everyone seems to be living on edge, whether it’s battling crazy holiday shopping traffic, waiting in forever long lines, or just trying to survive the last few days of the work week.

If you’re really good at handling stress, lucky you! Ha! I’ve never been one of those that handles stress well though. I tend to melt into a pile of mush and basically prefer to skip stress all together if possible. Nick is the exact same way, so we’re basically captains of Team Anti-Stress over here! πŸ˜‰

When it comes to de-stressing I wanted to share 8 of my favorite things you can do to let the next few days go over a little smoother than you hope or even think possible! It’s most definitely doable. I promise.

1.) Start each day with a grateful heart. I know it’s so easy to get so busy with trying to accomplish everything on our to-do lists especially at this time of the year. As if we needed to add extra items to our lists as it is. BUT, how often do you start your days first thing by saying “thank you”? We are all so blessed with more than we could ever need or want for the most part, that it’s so easy to just skip the whole “grateful” portion of our day, and get to the “what else do I need” part, or “what do I NOT have” part.

Try starting off the next 3 days with thinking of or even writing down 3 things that you’re grateful for in your life right this moment. It could be the simplest of things, or something major. I promise, this will get your day started on an entirely different note which could make all the difference around the holidays. Try not to get wrapped up in the gifts/stress of it all, and focus on what you truly appreciate in your life already. Sometimes a change in perspective is all you need to get you into the Christmas spirit.

Maybe one day soon you’ll even go so far as to buy a gratigude journal to keep notes to yourself of everything you’re thankful for! That way you can look back on your “not so grateful” days and remember what means them most to you when you need a refresher.

2.) Give, give and give some more. Is there anything better than being the giver? I can’t think of a better feeling than watching someone open a present or be the receiver of something extra special just for them. If you’ve been finding yourself just in a Christmas slump, find a way to give some gifts to either a complete stranger or someone extra dear to your heart. It doesn’t have to be something huge and expensive! It could be just giving your time, or a helping hand! Or maybe you go out of your way to get something your dear friend has been longing for or needing for a long time! If this doesn’t make you feel better, I’m not quite sure what else can.

3.) Create a playlist to get you in the mood! Put together either a calming playlist with soothing music to calm any anxieties or stress around you. Or, create a Christmas music playlist to get you feeling in the spirit of the holiday! Luckily, Pandora saves the day here and can help with that in one easy click. BUT, maybe you could find a few of your favorite songs and make your very own playlist for an extra genuine feel. Play this in the background of your busy day, or take a 10 minute break to disconnect and go for a walk and listen to your music to get you in a clear headspace. Works wonders, I promise.

4.) Get outside. To go along with #3, make sure to spend some time outside when you’re feeling extra weighed down with stress. Fresh air and Vitamin D can turn my day around in a matter of minutes every single time. Maybe you could get your family to take a Christmas day walk together! Or maybe you could start Christmas morning with a run or a hike in a park nearby. Any way you have to get some time spent outside, just do it.

5.) Find your word. When all chaos breaks out and Aunt Jan is talking your ear off, your mother in law is staring down the dust amounts settling on your side tables, your turkey is nearing the edge of burnt crispy while the kids are poking each other’s eyes out in the living room–find your word. Find a calming word or sentence to settle you down and bring you back to normal. Just telling yourself that you in fact ARE okay, will have a dramatic decrease in that frazzled feeling. Even if you have to repeat your word or your sentence to yourself 8,000 times per minute–repeat it until you feeling your anxiety lowering. Add a few deep breaths in there too, then you can safely remove the weapons from the crazy kids in the living room– (as long as they’re alive.) Oh and don’t forget the turkey in the oven.

6.) Yoga your way through Christmas. You wouldn’t think I’d forget to add yoga to this list would you? Of course not. Another wonderful anti-stressful way to start the next few days would be to wake up and get your yoga on. Stretch out, breath deep and soak it all in. Whether it’s a 20 minute yoga session or a full on hour long class, you’ll never regret taking that time for yourself during the most stressful time of the year. Yoga isn’t just helpful in the physical sense, but more so to me in the mental sense of it’s calming encouragement and of course–anti-stress.

((Also, extra coffee doesn’t hurt either.))

Here’s one of my most favorites:

(Click the link to see the video!)

>>>>>Yoga for Stress and Anxiety<<<<<

7.) Set a timer and knock out that to-do list. Give yourself a set amount of time to stick to your task and focus 100% on it to get it done. Then, you can move onto the next without feeling so scattered. There’s no doubt we have a ton to accomplish around the holidays. It’s inevitable that we have to face these to-do list items so instead of stressing out about accomplishing them all at once–take one task at a time! You’ll most likely feel 10x more accomplished as you’re marking those items off, versus struggling to get 5 different things done all over the place all at the same time.

8.) When all else fails, sweat. Maybe you could plan to wake up an extra hour before everyone else does and you can get in a good solid sweat session. Elle Woods says “endorphins make you happy”, right? RIGHT! You’ll be able to have a little more patience with your guests/family and feel proud for burning a few extra calories before taking a few extra in too! Double win!

Here is one of my favs:

(Click the link to see the video!)

>>>>>Total Body Cardio with Autumn<<<<<

I hope your Christmas weekend is the best one yet and I hope you have as little stress as possible!

Enjoy your family time, soak up the love around you and remember the true reason for the season!

As always, From Chelsea