Let’s talk about holiday stress! The holidays can be a special and magical time for so many families. But it can also be one of the most hectic, stressful times of the year that leaves you saying “bah humbug.” After all, the beautiful moments we see on Instagram don’t really tell us the whole truth.
Sure, that pie is perfect, but we don’t see the mess of dirty dishes still in the sink. The idyllic post with kids who are quietly watching a movie doesn’t show you that just minutes before they were fighting. And maybe all the focus on family and spending time with your loved ones only reminds you of loved ones who have passed or relationships that are broken. Whatever the cause of holiday stress, there are some things you can do to help manage the craziness so you can enjoy the season.
Take Some YOU Time
You’ve spent time creating your shopping list, tracking down the perfect gifts, planning the family meals, decorating, baking, wrapping… and the list goes on. It can be stressful trying to stay on top of it all. It’s important in all of the chaos to take some time to yourself. So much of the holiday season focuses on supporting the needs of others, but it can be easy to take that too far. You may start to feel like you have no time for yourself since your energy is always used on what other people need. But it won’t be long until your stress level has you feeling both mentally and physically spent.
Remember. It is OKAY to say “no.” The holidays are there for your enjoyment as well. You can absolutely politely decline an engagement or party if you’re really wanting some quiet time to yourself. Enjoy that bubble bath or silly Christmas rom-com. Say yes to the cookies, take a deep breath, and take some time to yourself.
On the subject of Christmas cookies, it’s important to enjoy life and indulge a little bit while also paying attention to our health and bodies. As tempting as it might be to forgo the gym or regular exercise habits in December, don’t forget that when you constantly miss out on your regular exercise, your mood can be negatively impacted. Even if you’re not up for a full workout, there are plenty of little ways to keep yourself moving. Taking just 20 minutes out of your evening for some deep stretching on the living room floor can really help you relax and wind down from the day’s stress.
Reach Out for Help & Support
If you’re feeling stressed out right now, trust us, you are not alone. A lot of people are struggling with stress this time of year, for so many different reasons! Maybe you’re worried about affording all the presents, making sure holiday events go well, spending time with extended family, or even wondering what to do with your kids during their winter break from school. No matter what is making your holidays hectic, don’t be afraid to reach out for support if you need it. Family and friends are often more than happy to help! Especially when they know they can count on you to return the favor if they need it.
Reach for Essential Oils
When you’re feeling overwhelmed with holiday stress, reach for an essential oil that can help calm you down. If you’re at home, you can diffuse, make a relaxing bath, or enjoy a linen spray to help soothe holiday nerves. When you’re out and about, fill your personal inhaler with your favorite oil and pull it out whenever the stress is building up. You could also whip up a lotion using an unscented base and a few drops of your favorite essential oil. Here are a few oils that are known for their relaxing and calming properties:
- Chamomile: Add either the Roman or German variety to your favorite bath salt DIY as a way to unwind after a long day or diffuse just before bedtime to help the mind relax before sleep.
- Vetiver: This oil is calming, soothing and can even help release negative feelings associated with stress. It blends beautifully with floral essential oils, so play around to find what suits you.
- Bergamot: This fresh-smelling oil is excellent for brightening the mood and lifting spirits. If stress has you feeling down, let this beautiful citrusy and fruity fragrance help boost your mood.
- Relax: Wonderful for emotional support, this blend helps promote a peaceful state of mind and creates a relaxing environment. Great for melting away all of that holiday stress.
- Chill Out: This blend is excellent when you want to bring a sense of peace and calm to your life. If you’re experiencing nervous irritation from stress, add a few drops to your personal inhaler and enjoy!
- Grapefruit: If you’re looking for a little pick-me-up to help you get through the day, Grapefruit is the ideal choice. Its sweet, juicy fresh citrus scent can help to lighten up mental fatigue and moodiness.
- Black Spruce: In addition to smelling like a beautiful Christmas tree, Black Spruce, along with other coniferous oils, are wonderful for lifting the spirits and beating the winter blues.
- Calming the Child: Contrary to what you might think, this one is for adults too! The sweet and fruity aroma of this blend helps to promote a tranquil atmosphere. Diffuse it throughout the day or just before bedtime to help calm the mind and slow turbulent emotions.
- Ylang Ylang: This oil has a soothing and relaxing fragrance that is perfect for easing the mind. Use in your favorite carrier oil for a tranquil massage blend.
- Meditation: This blend helps evoke a calm mood and meditative state of mind.
- Patchouli: Patchouli has a slightly masculine scent that can help aid in meditation. Add a few drops to your diffuser to help alleviate nervous tension and worry.
- Worry Free: This blend helps promote a relaxed state of mind so you can better cope with life’s challenges. Use in your diffuser when you’re feeling anxious and worried.
- Buddha Wood: Remarkably balancing and grounding, this oil is excellent for enriching meditative practices or just supporting focus and clarity during everyday activities.
- Nighty Night: When stress is keeping you up at night, use this KidSafe blend to help you relax and calm down before bedtime.
- Lavender: The aroma of Lavender can help produce a calm, peaceful, tranquil environment. Diffuse during the day or before bedtime to help soothe your emotions.
For more great tips and tricks for managing the holidays, be sure to Safe Essential Oil Recipes (SEOR) Facebook Group!