It’s that time of year again: The holiday season is upon us. And, as much as I love the holidays, I can’t deny that they stress me out. There are tons of reasons why the holidays are stressful, but two main culprits stand out to me every year: 1) I always want to do too many things for others (be it hosting a gathering or buying gifts), and 2) whether due to lack of time or money, I inevitably end up feeling like my gifts are not good enough. Even though those feelings pop right back up each holiday season, over the years I’ve learned some ways to relax and recharge so that I can make it through with a smile on my face. Here are my favorite strategies for holiday relaxation—I hope they help you enjoy a less stressful season!
Candles are a great way to set the mood and relax. They’re not just good for romantic dinners or parties, they can also help you unwind. The smell of a candle fills your home with a warm scent and it can help you sleep better at night. If you’re looking for an easy way to make sure that everyone feels calm during the holidays, put some scented candles around the house.
Take a long bath
In our list of the best ways to relax for the holidays, we have to include taking a long bath. Not only does taking a bath bring you into contact with one of nature’s most healing substances (water), but it also allows you to unwind and enjoy yourself.
To maximize your relaxation experience, be sure your water is not too hot. You want it warm enough so that when you get in and roll around in it, any excess heat will dissipate quickly without leaving any lasting effects on your skin or causing discomfort as an after effect. The perfect temperature for this type of activity is approximately body temperature or slightly warmer.
Next, add some bubbles! A nice bubble bath bomb can do wonders to improve the quality of any bathtub experience—and what better way is there than adding some aromatherapy essential oils? Peppermint is said by many massage therapists to be excellent at helping people relax while they’re soaking away their troubles in the tub; try adding a drop or two into some warm water before adding your bubble bath bomb if that sounds like something worth trying out! Finally (and most importantly), finish off by topping off this relaxing moment with a glass of wine: not only does alcohol help release tension from muscles throughout one’s body due to its sedative properties; but also because drinking alcohol has been shown time and time again (by scientists)
Cook something with cinnamon
You are in luck! Here are just a few ways you can use cinnamon to relax before the holidays:
- Cooking is one of the best ways to relax. If cooking is not your forte, then baking is an excellent alternative. Cinnamon adds flavor and a little bit of spice, which makes it perfect for both cooking and baking. Even if you’re just adding some cinnamon to your tea or coffee, it will help with digestion while also giving your drink a nice kick.
- You don’t need much time or effort; all you need is some fresh ingredients (and maybe a little bit of creativity). Whether it be cookies or cakes or pies—anything that involves sugar—cinnamon will make everything taste better!
Listen to mellow music
The best kind of music to listen to is that which is relaxing and calming at the same time.
Go ahead, hit play on your favorite playlist. We’re sure you’ll find that mellow tunes are just as effective as a full-body massage or even a day at the spa!
Wrap yourself in a blanket
Use a blanket to surround yourself with warmth. A cozy blanket can help you feel safe and secure, like you’re enveloped in the arms of your mother. When you wrap yourself up in a big ol’ comfy blanket, it can make you feel like you are in a cocoon. If you want to get even more cozy, try using your partner as a source of warmth! Wrap him or her up with his or her arms around you so that all parts touching each other will be warmly touching each other. This is how couples do it when they want to be close together on cold nights—while also staying warm!
Watch the snow fall
Watching the snow slowly fall is one of the best ways to relax. The gentle sound of each flake landing on your roof, or against your window pane, is so peaceful and calming. Snowfall can be such a great way to unwind after a long day at work or school!
Sit by a fireplace
- Sit in a comfortable chair.
- Try to relax your body and mind.
- Focus on your breathing, if you can.
- Focus on the warmth of the fire, if you can.
- Focus on the smell of the fire, if you can (it’s sometimes difficult).
- Listen to the sounds of logs crackling and popping as they burn, if you can (it’s also sometimes difficult).
Walk near the water (a lake, the ocean, etc.)
Walking by the water is an excellent way to relax. The sound of water, the smell of water, the sight and taste of it, all are very soothing. It’s hard to feel stressed when you’re walking on a beach or watching waves roll in. Even if you can’t get out for a walk near the ocean or lake this holiday season (or another time), try adding some saltwater into your bathtub at home with something like [this relaxation kit](https://amzn.to/2w0ZWdl). It includes everything you need to make your own relaxing bath: Epsom salts for soaking and peppermint oil for aromatherapy!
It may seem counterintuitive that getting splashed with cold water is calming but studies say otherwise—and they confirm that even just touching cold water can help relieve anxiety and stress. So grab your swimsuit and go outside—you might be surprised how good it feels!
Write a letter to someone you love
Writing a letter to someone you love can be an excellent way to spend some time relaxing, especially during the holidays. You can write about anything you love and it doesn’t need to be particularly long. A few sentences or paragraphs are plenty! If you’re feeling ambitious, try writing a letter full of everything that is good in your life right now. If that’s too much of an undertaking, start small by writing about one thing (i.e., “I love how cold it’s starting to get outside” or “I’m thankful for my dog”).
These are the best ways to relax for the holidays.
You can do all of these things at home, but they’re also great ways to relax with friends or family. And if you’re feeling adventurous, try them out in nature! You can even do some of these activities alone—I love meditating on my own. Pets will definitely appreciate some TLC this holiday season too!
We wish you a holiday season full of peace, joy, and relaxation!