Tips for a Stress Free Holiday

stress free holiday

The holidays are the best! Hanging out with family, friends, eating, drinking, travel, logistics, schelping. Eh…Now that I’m thinking about it, the holidays are undeniably some of the best times of the year, but in between the moments of joy is a shit ton of stress.

My holiday schedule typically includes parties, happy hours, lunches, dinners, a friends-mas or two (God, I’m so popular), two stops in Michigan to my in-laws, and a two-or-three-day stint in the ‘burbs with my family. My family that has 14 immediate members, and 25+ extended family members. I should also note that during this time my husband and I sleep on an air mattress in the basement that is DIRECTLY NEXT TO an air mattress that sleeps my sister and her husband. That’s about two feet of separation and zero ounces of privacy. Yes, our husbands are saints.

To get through the holidays without losing your mind, blowing up at an unsuspecting family member, or having a melt down on Michigan Ave find what I call your RQQT.

Restorative Quality Quiet Time.

By doing so you’ll be sure to find a reprieve (albeit it may be brief) from the craziness to reset, restore and revisit ground zero.

Are you surrounded by screaming kids hopped up on hot chocolate? Excuse yourself for your RQQT. Is your grandmother asking you why you “haven’t settled down yet with a nice young man?” or wondering “where her grandkids are?” Peace out for some RQQT. Are your high school girlfriends going off on a rant about a topic you can no longer relate to? Check yourself for RQQT.

At the risk of being outted by my own family or friends, my go-to RQQT hacks include:

  • Taking a walk: Movement and fresh air is a combination that is guaranteed to brighten your mood and clear your head. Even if there is a foot of snow on the ground, a quick walk around the block invigorates the senses and will reset your perspective.
  • Work out: As Elle Woods says, “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people don’t just kill their husbands. They just don’t!”
  • 10-minute cat nap aided by meditation: I’m the kind of person that never wakes up in a bad mood. Even if I’m overstimulated the podcast Meditation Oasis has guided mediations for restorative sleep. It never fails to put me at ease.
  • Hot shower: If you’ve got a shit ton of family members the hot water may be donezo by the time you get your turn. In which case, I’m deeply sorry for rubbing salt in this wound. Take a moment to pamper yourself, wash your hair TWICE, deep condition, shave your legs, moisturize (I LOVE using my mom’s products because they’re so freaking nice and never something I would be able to afford, thank you, Sandy!), do your hair, make up. Before you know it, you’ve been by yourself for a solid hour. Any more than that and you’re just greedy. Get over it, it’s the holidays not a luxury vacation.
  • Running an errand: Okay, this makes me sound like a bit of a B, but sometimes you can disguise your RQQT by being helpful! “What’s that, Mom? You forgot the milk? Oh no, don’t worry, you’re so busy here, let me get that for you, BE RIGHT BACK, BYE!” …Hey…It works.

By taking time for yourself you’ll inevitably be in a better mood, less stressed and open to all the magic the holidays hold. It’s kind of like working out, but taking that time for you, you’re in turn a better person for all of those around you. Think about it.

Cover image via BJYAPU.

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