I can hardly believe that we’re already half way through December. It seems like just yesterday I was sitting down to Thanksgiving dinner with my family and now there’s less than 10 days until Christmas — my absolute favorite holiday of the year. Despite the snowy weekends, adorned Christmas tree in my living room, and general holiday splendor that has blanketed NYC, I can’t help but feel like I haven’t been truly enjoying this holiday season. It seems like as I get older this season which once seemed to move SO slowly, now whizzes by and I’m left wondering where it went. I guess it boils down to this: I’ve let my job, my schedule and stress get the best of me… and I’m afraid I’m not alone.
If you’ve also had a hard time keeping stress at bay during the holidays, I highly suggest implementing some of the following tips. I’ll be the first to admit that it’s easier said than done. In fact, these thoughts all came to me while laying in savasana during the first yoga class I’ve taken in two weeks. Yes, TWO weeks. That’s how bad I’ve been with practicing self-care and taking some much needed me time. So if you also find yourself in the same boat my first piece of advice is to be kind to yourself. We can all let stress get the best of us and recognizing the problem is the first step in solving it.
The following are 5 simple ways to keep your holidays stress free:
Live A Little
It’s the holidays, so stop being so hard on yourself and give yourself permission to live a little! Plan some fun holiday outings with loved ones, don’t feel guilty for over-indulging, and please give the calorie counting or insane workout plan a little time to rest. I’m not saying you should stop taking care of yourself or quit exercising, but it’s OKAY if you end up at happy hours instead of at the gym every night. Make your mental health just as big of a priority as your physical health.
I’ll admit, this notion was taken from Lolë’s tagline “Live Out Loud Every Day.” When they asked to partner with me on a holiday post, I thought long and hard about what I wanted to share — and my thoughts kept coming back to this idea of truly “living” during the holidays… not just going through the motions or guilt tripping yourself for falling off track (which sadly I’ve seen many posts about on IG).
Part of that means tuning into your surroundings. If you live in NYC you know that the city is never more beautiful than it is in December. Between the insane amount of decorations, the ice skating rinks and Rockefeller Christmas tree, there are so many beautiful things to marvel at… so let’s take time to appreciate them.
Write It Down
Put your thoughts on paper. Whether that be scribbling in a journal for a few minutes before bed, writing out your to-do list(s) in the morning, plotting out your schedule, or writing a Christmas shopping list — just make sure you document it. Writing can be so therapeutic and I think it’s incredibly crucial during this time of year to stay as organized as possible. By documenting your feelings you’ll become more aware of what you need to satisfy your physical and emotional needs, especially if you’re starting to feel overwhelmed. And by writing down your responsibilities you may find yourself more focused and able to better prioritize each of your daily tasks.
Rest and Recover
This. Is. So. Important.
If you’re anything like me, you’re constantly on the go, rushing from one activity to the next with barely any breathing room. The downfall to such a fast paced life is that there is inevitably a point of burning out… and unfortunately for me that kind of happened right smack in the midst of the holiday season. So what can you do to avoid said burn out? Take time to rest. That means saying no to meeting up with people. It means putting your to-do list aside for a day. It means sleeping in even if you’re naturally a morning person and it means giving yourself a day to just chill — no schedule, no commitments, no work.
If you’re the type that gets antsy from sitting around doing nothing, I suggest booking a more mindful workout class (i.e. restorative yoga or meditation). There are plenty of great classes in NYC so if you’re a local and need some suggestions, shoot me an email.
This goes hand in hand with rest and recover, although practicing self-care is a little more active and takes some forethought. Maybe it means stocking your fridge with healthy fruits, veggies and snacks so you’ll have nutritious things to grab while on the go. Or maybe it’s booking yourself a massage or mani/pedi so you look and feel your best during all the holiday parties. It could even be as simple as investing in some essential oils to put into your bath or carry with you while hustling around the city.
Whatever self-care looks like to you, make sure it becomes a priority.
Minimize Your Schedule
I know this is seemingly impossible but it’s worth trying. Ask yourself if you have to go to every event, party, or meet up that you’re invited to. If so, what do you have to give up in order to do that? Pencil in time for the people that matter and give yourself some breathing room so you’re not left frantically trying to run from one activity to the next.
And if you find that minimizing your schedule is not an option, maybe it just means giving yourself one extra hour in the morning or before bed to read a book, write in your journal, do a little yoga, or meditate.
The holidays are about bringing a little more joy and love into the world and you can’t do that if you’re too busy being stressed out. So grab yourself some (spiked) eggnog, turn on the Christmas tunes, dance around your living room like a goofball and surround yourself with people who make you incandescently happy. This is the most wonderful time of the year and it’s time we all start acting like it!
Shop my fun and super warm outfit by Lolë (along with a few of my other favorites) below. For a limited time, you can use my code MEL30 and save 30% off regular priced merchandise! Perfect for any of you last minute Christmas shoppers out there. 😉
Wishing you all the happiest of holidays and a very Merry Christmas.
This post was sponsored by Lolë . As always, all opinions are completely my own. Thank you for supporting the brands I love! ~ Mel
All photography by Falcon Griffith Photography