A woman rubbing her temples and looking stressed while sitting in front of a Christmas tree

5 Ways to Relieve Holiday Stress

Published: 27th Dec, 2022

Recognizing how to relieve holiday stress can make the season more enjoyable for you and your loved ones. The holiday period can cause anxiety, even when you’re really excited about this special time. Whether you’re hosting visitors, traveling, or even celebrating at home, there is a sense of urgency around this time of year. So if you’re feeling stressed about the upcoming holidays, try these five things to help. You’ll feel more relaxed, helping everyone around you feel calmer too.

1. Take Moments of Alone Time

Do you know that feeling of calm when you sneak a moment alone during a social gathering? You can slow down, take a deep breath, and calm your busy mind.

These moments are invaluable during the holidays when you’ll likely have more people around you. Constant conversation can leave you feeling overwhelmed, leading to elevations in stress hormones like cortisol that can cause everything from a racing heart rate to weight gain and digestive issues. So to keep that cortisol down, take a few moments for yourself every day this holiday season.

Tips to get the most out of alone time

Your quiet moments will likely be fleeting, so try these things to help relieve holiday stress when you’ve snuck away for time alone:

  • Try to avoid looking at your phone
  • Take 5 slow, deep breaths
  • Close your eyes to remove visual stimuli

Even two minutes of quiet time alone can help you feel refreshed and ready to tackle a busy holiday gathering.

2. Indulge in a Massage Without Leaving the House

Enjoying a soothing, relaxing massage is one of the best ways to get rid of holiday stress, but who has the time to make an appointment? Or battle the traffic to get to a spa? This holiday season, embrace the trend of at-home wellness and enjoy a massage at home.

The last few years have forced most of us to stay home more, helping clever scientists engineer at-home wellness options. These include everything from meditation apps to massage tables that offer temporary relief of minor joint and muscle soreness. Massage tables such as the CERAGEM V6 use Ancient Chinese acupressure points to calm tension and relieve tightness. Some tables even promote better blood flow and are tailored to your spine’s natural curve to help make the experience more personalized. After you’ve finished your treatment and you’re feeling light as air, you can slide tables like the CERAGEM V6 away to be half its size, creating a sleek bench seat you and your family can use.

Forget rushing around to wellness treatments, this year try at-home wellness therapies like massage.

3. Heading Outside in Nature is One of the Best Ways to Relieve Holiday Stress

Research has proven time in nature reduces stress. Best of all, you don’t have to go far; even a walk in your local park can help. Not only does a walk in nature reduce cortisol levels, but it’s also proven to brighten your mood. The key is to find green space that floods your senses with nature. Hearing birds chirping, feeling the breeze in your hair, and touching the grass all add to the body’s overall experience.

Can’t get outside? Try a VR escape instead. If you’re stuck in an urban setting and walking in nature isn’t an option, research shows just looking at a natural landscape can help lower cortisol levels. Better yet, spritz some pine essential oil around while you’re looking at the nature scape. Olfactory stimulation has a larger effect on stress minimization than purely looking at a natural scene.

4. Try a Unique Workout

The holidays are busy, and it’s likely you’ll abandon your usual routine in favor of social activities, and that’s OK! No one is expected to maintain their exercise regime or head to the gym on Christmas eve. However, you may notice not working out leaves you feeling low and deflated. So instead of forcing yourself to stick to your usual routine, try a different style of exercise these holidays. Why not try:

  • Attending a new workout class with your family or friends
  • Gathering your old friends and trying an online workout class on Youtube
  • Going for a hike with your family, or enjoying an audiobook or podcast as you climb
  • Walking to a gathering or activity rather than driving
  • Scheduling a family gathering at a picnic spot with walking access only

By choosing a different style of exercise these holidays, you’ll enjoy it rather than viewing it as a chore. Plus, you’ll help keep your stress levels down and your endorphins high.

5. Go to Bed Early Every Few Nights

Seeing family and friends after months or years apart is thrilling, but the late-night chats over red wine can leave you depleted. Lack of sleep is linked to higher cortisol levels, placing your body in its fight-or-flight state, and leaving you feeling anxious and exhausted. So instead of staying up every night, schedule a few early nights free of social engagements when you can rest. You’ll love waking up feeling fresh and ready to celebrate the next day.

The holidays can be stressful, but they don’t have to leave you feeling anxious if you prioritize your wellness this year. Try the five tips above to reduce holiday stress and you’ll feel brighter and happier this holiday season, allowing you to welcome the new year with fresh energy.

Visit the CERAGEM site today to learn more about our massage beds.

Caitlin Reid is a writer and practicing health professional. She is passionate about sharing health and wellness information to help everyday people move better and feel brighter.

Aprivé Wellness: https://aprivewellness.com/blog/2016/5/25/how-stress-leads-to-premature-aging
Journal of Environment & Behaviour: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0013916518800798
Nature Journal: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-019-46099-7
Hanson JA, Huecker MR. Sleep Deprivation. In: StatPearls. StatPearls Publishing, Treasure Island (FL); 2022. PMID: 31613456.: https://europepmc.org/article/NBK/nbk547676