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Holidays are meant to be a cheerful time spent with loved ones, eating delicious food, and remembering what matters most to us. But let’s be real; all of the planning, shopping, and anticipation can be exhausting. There’s an expectation of feeling holly and jolly all month long, even with a hundred things on our to-do list. Our stress shows in many ways, from the changes in our moods to the condition of our skin. 

While you want to do it all, it’s important to remember to take care of yourself when caring for others. 

So here are a few ways to maintain your sense of calm if you’re feeling the holiday blues. 

  1. Take a break- go outside and get some fresh air. 

When you’re feeling frustrated or anxious, a break is always a good idea. Even if it’s just for 10 minutes- get outside and take a few deep breaths. Here is a grounding technique that I find useful to bring myself back to a sense of calm.  

Find a peaceful place to sit. Look around and notice:

  • Five things you see
  • Four things you can feel
  • Three things you can hear
  • Two things you can smell
  • One thing you can taste 

If there’s nothing to taste, think of your favorite thing to eat.

This exercise allows you to get in touch with your senses and out of your head for a moment. You’ll realize that there is more around you than your stress and worries. 

  1. Let go of the idea of perfection.

Whether it’s maintaining healthy skin or planning the perfect gifts, there’s always a high expectation that everything should go as planned. Unfortunately, we live in an unpredictable world where it seems like things tend to go wrong at the worst time. Whether it’s forgetting to an essential ingredient at the grocery store or breaking your favorite ornament, something is bound to go wrong. Instead of getting stressed, expect the unexpected. 

I find the practice of reciting positive affirmations to be helpful when I’m feeling the pressure of striving for perfection. Here are some of my favorites. Inhale with a deep breath as you think of these phrases or say them out loud:

  • I trust myself, I believe in myself, and I have confidence in myself. 
  • I am doing my best. 
  • I am in control of my thoughts, feelings, and choices. 
  • I am superior to negative thoughts and actions. 
  • I am thankful for all that I have. 

You can use these affirmations throughout the day to remain focused and calm. 

  1. Keep a journal. 

During times of stress, we often have thoughts on our minds that we may not want to share with others. I enjoy taking a few moments in the morning with my cup of coffee to jot down my thoughts in the form of a stream of consciousness flow. It doesn’t have to be pretty. Just pick up a notebook and take five minutes to jot down whatever comes to mind. Focusing on writing down what is stressing you out allows you to dump those feelings onto paper, so you don’t have the burden of carrying them around with you all day. 

  1. Never Underestimate the power of saying, “no.”

Sure, it’s great to be helpful, but there’s only so many hours in the day and a limited amount of people that you can please. If you feel yourself stress about all that needs to get done, it’s healthy to recognize when you’re at your limit. When you’re asked to take on another task, it’s perfectly fine to reply with a “no, thanks.” No apology needed. Whatever it is, they’ll be fine without you, and when you say no, it reminds people of your boundaries and that your time is valuable. 

  1. Remember the reason for the season.

It’s easy to get swept up in the hype of the holiday season. Your email and socials are filled with sale ads. And yes, you want to get something nice for everyone, but it’s easy to get swept up in the dollar signs and forget about what matters most. The fancy gifts will fade, but the friendships you maintain and the relationships you have with your family will carry beyond the holiday season. By staying present and putting your phone down, you’re more likely to enjoy your holiday. You can even make it a game by seeing who can go without checking their screens the longest. Or, like some families I know, put your phones in a basket before holiday meals or activities. Time is fleeting, and this festive time of year will be over before you know it, so enjoy it while you can.

  1. When all else fails- remember to take care of yourself.

Really. It may seem simple or even silly, but there’s something about a warm bath or shower that always makes us feel better. Research shows that a warm bath can improve your mood. If you have a little extra time to spare, why not put on a fresh coat of nail polish or apply a facemask. It only takes 10 minutes, and you’ll feel better knowing you put some extra effort into taking care of yourself. 

Well, friends, we hope you found this advice helpful for managing the stress of the holiday hustle and bustle. There’s still time to stock up on some skincare goodies for your loved ones and plenty of self-care essentials for you with 15% off your order with Code: JOLLY15 until 12/22 at midnight.