How to Relax During The Holidays

Two Methods:Plan for Holiday StressStress-Reducing Activities

The holiday season is usually a very busy time, filled with family, friend and work commitments. Trying to find the time and money for shopping, cooking, cleaning and hosting can seem daunting. If you find yourself agitated during the months of November and December, then there are things that you can do to relax your mind. In order to handle the holidays in a healthy, happy manner, you may need to learn to rework your schedule to fit in things that are beneficial for your mental health. Learn how to relax during the holidays.

Method 1
Plan for Holiday Stress

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    Sit down with a pen and paper before the holiday season starts. Give yourself 10 minutes to write down what triggers your holiday stress. List 2 to 5 things that stress you out most during the holiday season.
    • Examples of stress triggers during the holidays may include money problems, family relationships, gifts, weight gain, job expectations and party planning.
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    Write down your normal reaction to each stress trigger. Then, write down how you would like to change your reaction.
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    Brainstorm ways that you could change a situation before it stresses you out. Write down at least 2 ways that you can avoid the stress. Choose the ways that seem the most feasible.
    • For example, if you are worried about holiday weight gain, you can limit the amount that you bake or replace time you would normally spend surfing the Internet working out instead. If you are worried about money, you can plan to craft homemade preserves or bath salts for people instead of buying gifts in a store.
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    Address Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), if you believe you have it. SAD affects people in wintry or rainy climates who don't see enough sun to release mood-boosting serotonin in the brain. Either make a plan to spend more time outside in the sun or near a window or try light treatments with a special UV lamp.
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    Plan your holiday schedule for quality, not quantity. Adopting the theory that "less is more" can help you to enjoy your time with family and friends more. Opt to do 1 or 2 outings per week, instead of 4 or 5 and you can still schedule time to do the things that help you to relax and enjoy your life.

Method 2
Stress-Reducing Activities

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    Pick 1 or 2 things to volunteer for during the holiday season. Many people overstretch themselves, causing stress. Learn to say "no" early on and choose the things that you think are most important.
    • Studies have shown that there are health benefits to volunteering. It is a natural happiness booster to donate your time and money to charity. Try to allocate 1 of your helpful activities toward helping non-profit causes.
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    Ask for help when you need it. Many people are able to contribute a dish, an evening or some time to listen. Ask people individually instead of by email or text, so that you communicate well and intimately.
    • Use your support network during the holidays. If you are stressed out and you need someone to listen to your problems, ask someone to spend an hour or two away from the house doing something fun. You can talk and enjoy yourself.
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    Schedule a massage or 2 during the holidays. You can buy 1 for yourself, ask for a massage as a gift or trade massages with your significant other. Some studies have shown that giving massages as well as getting them can improve your mood.
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    Exercise regularly to release tension. If you don't have time to go to the gym, then go for a walk at lunchtime or after dinner. Do a few minutes of relaxation yoga before you go to bed to ensure you have decompressed from the day.
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    Plan some time to yourself. Choose something you enjoy doing alone, such as reading, taking a bath, yoga, walking or listening to music, and do it for at least 15 minutes per day. Schedule longer sessions of 1 hour once per week.
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    Disconnect from your phone and email. Constantly checking your phone can make you feel as if you are always over scheduled. Plan times when you will check your email or your phone, and leave devices alone or turn them off during all other times.
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    Get around 8 hours of sleep per night. Get ready for bed and turn off all electronic devices 1 hour before you need to be in bed. Take a hot shower or bath and try deep breathing exercises to relax and get ready for sleep.

Things You'll Need

  • Pen
  • Paper
  • UV lamp/sunlight
  • Massage
  • Exercise
  • Hobbies
  • Sleep

Article Info

Categories: Relaxation Techniques