6 Easy Ways to Beat Holiday Stress

Written by Jessica Puterbaugh | December 22, 2021

As the countdown to Christmas is underway, here are 6 simple things you can do to beat that last minute holiday stress.

1. Take a warm bath.

Try soaking with some Epsom salt, which can help ease pain and relax muscles, or add some bubble bath for a little bit of luxury. Light a few candles for added relaxation!

2. Watch a calming movie.

Watching something familiar can be therapeutic and reassuring, which can help to ease stress and anxiety. Try one of these favorite easy-watching holiday movies:

  • Love Actually
  • Home Alone
  • Elf
  • The Grinch
  • Miracle on 34th Street
  • It’s a Wonderful Life
  • White Christmas
  • The Holiday

3. Call a friend.

According to the Mayo Clinic, “friends enrich your life and improve your health.” A quick chat with a friend can help us feel better and lower stress levels by increasing a sense of connection with someone who cares and who understands. Friends give us a sense of belonging, and even if they live a long way away, or you can’t meet in person right now, you can still connect by phone, Facetime, or even Zoom.

4. Go for a walk or get some light exercise.

A little bit of movement goes a long way this time of year. Even a short walk at a comfortable pace can boost your mood and reduce stress, especially if you can find somewhere beautiful or that has some Christmas lights to look at. If walking outside triggers your migraine, try doing a short workout that you will enjoy at home. Or, considering investing in an under-the-desk elliptical glider which you can use while watching a movie or reading a book.

5. Treat yourself to a favorite food.

It’s the holidays, after all! If you are trying to cut down on calories but enjoy baking, consider substituting ingredients to make a recipe low fat or low sugar. Just be sure to watch out for any food triggers that can set off a migraine attack for you.

6. Do something creative.

Consider making the time to get creative with things such as adult paint-by-numbers, diamond art, puzzles, knitting, stone painting, or another easy craft. Creative activities can help with mindfulness, and make you feel good to look at the finished product. You can even add some easy listening music or inspirational talk while you’re doing them. If friends and family are looking for things to get you as holiday gifts, don’t be embarrassed to suggest things like this – or… splurge on yourself this holiday season!

If you are having trouble finding something that helps you relax, a good place to start is to think about something that makes you smile. Remember, we are all different and it’s what works for you that matters rather than what someone else likes to do – so be kind to yourself and make time for self-care and rest!

We want to know: How do you keep your stress in check this time of year? Do you have any relaxing rituals to share?

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