Four Ways to Let Go of Holiday Stress
Before we talk about ways to relieve holiday stress, let’s talk about why this time of year is so notoriously stressful. Aside from the obvious culprits (family dynamics, holiday travel, long lines, and even longer to-do lists), there’s something else…
According to the cycles of nature, winter is a time for us to slow down. Trees have dropped their leaves, harvests have been stored, bears are hibernating, rivers are frozen, the days are short, the nights are long. If we followed the rhythms of the earth, we would take this time to rest. Running around town fueled on caffeine and sugar, checking things off our to-do lists, and squeezing in one more social event is the opposite of the peace and quiet our bodies likely want.
No wonder we’re stressed out.
That said, we’re probably not going to turn the tides of familial and societal expectations any time soon, so here are four tried-and-true ways we can roll through the holidays feeling more balanced and joyful.
1. Dance to One Song
Human beings heal when they dance. When you’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed, pick one song and dance to the entire thing. This will only take you about five minutes, and it’s basically free therapy. Dancing to even one song will help release stress, get out of your busy mind, return to your breath, and elevate your mood.
2. Put Your Feet Up
Elevating your feet above your heart offers the chance to re-set your entire nervous system. Proven benefits of putting your feet up include: stress reduction, better sleep, improved lymphatic flow, and weight loss.
We like to elevate our feet by putting them up a wall. Enter this pose by sitting with the side of your hip against the wall. Once your booty is right up against the baseboard, lie on your back and raise your legs up, pivoting so that your sit bones face the wall, your legs are resting against the wall, and the top of your head faces the center of the room. Your legs can be straight or slightly bent, together or spread, whatever feels best. It can be more comfortable to use a bolster or folded blanket under your hips, just make sure it’s in place before you enter the pose. Stay between 6 and 30 minutes.
3. Say No
Say no to the optional stuff that you don’t really want to do. This is a public service, as you’re giving permission to others to do the same. The only caveat: don’t fill the space you’ve just made with more chores. Do something lovely for yourself, instead (which brings us to #4).
4. Take a Bath
There’s nothing like a bath for restoring sanity to a chaotic holiday season. Use a couple capfuls of our newly re-formulated, Plastic-free Body Wash for an infusion of skin-nurturing oils, plant-based bioactives, and essential oil blends that will transport you straight to a luxury spa.
For our money, the biggest gift you can give yourself is to take it easy! Wishing you a healthy, relaxed holiday season full of Livingroom dance moves, restorative moments, and a few warm baths.