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How to Deal With Stress During the Holidays

Updated on December 14, 2012
Taking photos of your pets is fun. Sammy Boy was thrilled to be wearing the Santa hat and beard.
Taking photos of your pets is fun. Sammy Boy was thrilled to be wearing the Santa hat and beard. | Source

Countdown To Celebration and Cheer

Taking time for yourself is important year-round but especially during the holidays. It's the time of year when your schedule can become hectic, kids have school functions and activities with friends. The family is coming and going or perhaps you are traveling and you have an entire buffet of food to prepare. For some busy people, you do it two times in four weeks! These are several ways for you to keep yourself harmonious during the holidays.

Rely on Your Pets

Pets are potentially perfect stress relievers. They're always happy to see you and they have an endless supply of love. It's no secret that there is a link between animals and inner peace. If you're feeling edgy, take some time to hang out with your pet. Go for a walk or run. Play fetch in the yard or at the local park. If you have time, take some silly photos with a Santa beard and post them so that you and your friends can have a laugh year-round.

Hot Stone Massage
Hot Stone Massage | Source

Have a Laugh

If you're really having a bad day and you need to get the ugly out of your system, here are a few ideas which might help you take the edge off or even laugh out loud.

  1. Take a hot bath with essential oils, bath salts or sugar scrub.
  2. At your lunch break, sit in your parked car with your sunglasses on and point your hair-dryer at cars as they pass.
  3. Schedule a date-night with your spouse.
  4. Call the psychic hotline and refuse to speak. They should know you, right?
  5. Attend a church function or a week-night service.
  6. Inform your kiddos at dinner that, "since the economy is in such bad shape, we are going to have to let one of you go."
  7. Go out for ice cream.
  8. Page yourself over the intercom at work.
  9. Sleep in.
  10. Put your trash can on top of your desk and label it "IN BOX".
  11. Go to a movie.


Schedule yourself for a massage to relax. Massage promotes healing for your muscles, enhances muscle function and it's lovely for your mind and soul. There are various types of massages which work in different ways.

  • You can have a standard Swedish massage which is also known as massage therapy. Many people schedule these for tight or stressed muscles. Often therapists will use massage lotion or massage oil
  • You can have an aromatherapy massage with scented oils. Many of the oils are therapeutic and are used for specific purposes such as energizing, relaxing or helping balance. It's very common to use lavender oil with aromatherapy massage.
  • Hot stone massage is used to loosen tight muscles and help balance energy centers in the body. The warm stones provide pressure on muscles and are a more gentle method of massaging the muscle as opposed to the kneading and stroking used in Swedish massage.
  • Deep tissue massage is a slower method of massage and is used for chronic muscle pain, people who suffer with poor posture or constant strain and people recovering from injuries. It's common to feel sore after you've had a deep tissue massage because the therapists are trained to work across the grain of the muscle.
  • Shiatsu is a popular type of Japanese massage that uses finger pressure and works with the acupuncture meridians. It's very relaxing and pleasantly less arduous than deep tissue massage. Clients seem to love the pressure-point therapy.
  • There's a whole lot more to having a foot massage than simply rubbing feet. Having a proper foot massage by a Reflexologist will ensure that your Qi is not blocked. Manipulating your feet in the correct areas will enhance your health, improve your well being, lower your stress and help reduce pain. Zone therapy is a natural healing art.

Cigar Anyone?

When done in moderation, enjoying a cigar every now and then can be a tranquilizing experience. It allows you time to simmer down and repose from your day. To garner all the relaxing benefits from a full size cigar such as a churchill or robusto, you should take your time and savor it. It will afford you 45-60 minutes of time to unwind.

Enjoy your favorite dessert such as these Raspberry chocolate truffles.
Enjoy your favorite dessert such as these Raspberry chocolate truffles. | Source

Feed Your Fancy

When you've had one of "those" days, sometimes you need to make the most ridiculous dessert you've ever made and sit down with a spoon. No guilt. It's okay to accommodate your hankering and hunger when it's not in excess.


Hot Cup of Calm

In this day and age you can make yourself a single cup of tea, cocoa, hot apple cider or you can whip up the coffee of the day. The best part is, you can simply pop in a little cup and voila! Hot and heavenly and brewed in the bat of an eye. Regardless of what's in your demitasse, take a few minutes to unwind and recline with your delightful drink.


Light a Candle and Meditate

Light a candle to create a soft atmosphere and center your yourself with an easy meditation. Create a mantra that will make you feel relaxed and calm. Construct an area that is just for you, a place where you can collect your thoughts and be alone to focus on your meditation. The area you design should be free of distractions such as a phone, television, radio or any instrument that would potentially interrupt your focus. There isn't a "correct" way to meditate so adapt an adjust your personal ritual to suit your needs. What matters is that you are able to alleviate stress and tension.


Sneak Out

When stress has gotten the best of you, sometimes you just have to shake it off. There are days when you arrive home and realize that you had a lousy day at work. Strap on your sneakers and snag your jacket. Head outside for a walk or perhaps a run and some much needed time to clear your mind. Walking and running are two great ways to de-stress. When you walk or run you have time to clear your mind and think things through. You can visualize your day, perhaps what went wrong and often times you'll find that your problem solving mechanisms are back in alignment. You may even come up with a solution, an idea or a method to the madness. Walking and running are sensational for the body and the mind.

Light a candle to relax.
Light a candle to relax. | Source

Book 'Em Danno

Writing is believed to be an extremely therapeutic method of dealing with stress and anxiety. People who are able to channel their feelings onto paper are more likely to gain a better perspective on their emotions and their situations.

Find a comfortable place to write, light a candle and turn on your favorite classical, jazz, new age or alternative type of easy listening music and then simply allow yourself to jot down anything that comes to mind. Focus on recording your thoughts and emotions and discard the idea that your words have to be written in any particular style or format. Your pages could be filled with single words if that's your preferred method of writing. Regardless of how you choose to scrawl your words, get them out of your head and set them free.

Stress Poll

What is your preferred style of alleviating stress?

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    • krsharp05 profile imageAUTHOR

      Kristi Sharp 

      7 years ago from Born in Missouri. Raised in Minnesota.

      HoneyBB, Thank you for reading and leaving such a nice compliment. I love having a massage as well! Hopefully your FB friends will enjoy this hub. Thanks again. -K

    • HoneyBB profile image

      H Lax 

      7 years ago

      These are great suggestions on how to de-stress. I wish I could get someone to give me one of those! Thanks for sharing.

      I'm going to post this link to my facebook page in case anyone else wants some ideas on how to de-stress.

    • krsharp05 profile imageAUTHOR

      Kristi Sharp 

      7 years ago from Born in Missouri. Raised in Minnesota.

      Waheed, Thanks for reading. Good to see you again! I'm a big fan of using laughter and fun to relieve stress along with the usual ways of relaxation. I appreciate your vote. -K

    • krsharp05 profile imageAUTHOR

      Kristi Sharp 

      7 years ago from Born in Missouri. Raised in Minnesota.

      peachpurple, Thank you for reading and commenting. I could easily eat ice cream at every meal. I'm fairly certain there isn't a flavor I don't enjoy! I appreciate your vote. -K

    • peachpurple profile image


      7 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      very good list with lots of alternative ways to beat out stress. I prefer the ice-cream part. Wonderful hub and voted useful

    • krsharp05 profile imageAUTHOR

      Kristi Sharp 

      7 years ago from Born in Missouri. Raised in Minnesota.

      billybuc, Thank you for reading and commenting. I've never had a hot stone massage but it sounds wonderful. I would never turn down a massage for any reason! Thanks for being here. -K

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      7 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Love the list....LOVE hot stone massages....and you had me laughing with the cigar suggestion. Well-written hub my friend, and quite useful as the holidays approach.


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