Reduce Holiday Stress: 4 Self-Care Tips to Relax

Well, Everygirls, we’ve almost done it! We’ve almost made it to the end of another year. I don’t know about you, but I think it takes a lot of hard work and patience to make it to the end of December in one piece.

With another year of full-time work, my first semester of graduate school, and several freelance projects under my belt in 2015, I’m desperate for ways to relax and recharge in ways that are effective and healing.

It’s time to stop romanticizing stress and take a well deserved break.

We know that there’s always more to do or accomplish, but we challenge you to give yourself an evening or even just an hour to unwind and let go of the stress for a little while. Here’s a step-by-step plan to help you do just that:

Step 1: The Playlist

As a music lover, I know better than most just how much music can affect mood.

Oliver Sacks, M.D. said in his book Musicophilia that “music is a part of being human.” I hope that during these last few weeks of the year, you can take a few minutes to use music to help yourself feel human.

Music is part of being human.

Whether you’ve signed up to cook your family’s holiday feast and need to keep your stress levels in check, or you need accompaniment while you handle end-of-quarter deadlines with Olivia Pope-esque flair, or you want to fully relax by giving yourself a well deserved bubble bath or a drive through nature, this playlist is made for you. I hope it serves you well.

Step 2: The Self-Care

Source: Anna with Love for The Everygirl

It’s time to refresh and rejuvenate your body (and mind).

Make your own face mask and give your hair a good deep-condition. If you’re not into DIY, Bloke makes some heavenly face and hair products.

Take a bubble bath or a long shower and treat your feet with a pumice stone and some polish.

For goodness’ sake, get a great night’s sleep.

Whatever methods you choose, the point is to take a minute to feel healthy and beautiful—and you deserve it.

Step 3: The Food and Drink

Source: Danielle Moss for The Everygirl

Plain and simple: Don’t give yourself any dishes tonight. Order in and make yourself an amazing cocktail.

Step 4: The Entertainment

Source: Our Books In

Sometimes mindless entertainment is exactly what you need to stay sane. So, if hanging on the couch with your dog and a heated blanket while marathon-ing through an entire old season of Project Runway is exactly what you need, I say go for it!

If you’re in the mood for something that will both entertain and engage your mind, here are a few resources:

Since we’ve already talked about the way music can affect us, listen to this episode of Radiolab about the power of music in our lives.

Serial Season Two is out. Need we say more?

Let go of any negativity you might feel by watching this beautiful, uplifting documentary.

Add some new reads to your collection from these lists of best books of the year: The New York Times, Buzzfeed or right here at The Everygirl.

Convinced, yet?

We hope you’re already switching out your weekend plans for a night of relaxation, but if our advice isn’t enough maybe you’ll listen to the great philosophers Tom Haverford and Donna Meagle:

We want to hear from you! How are you staying healthy and sane this season?