1 Watch your favorite movie. Several popular TV channels do marathons leading up to Christmas and play some of the best holiday movies! I always make sure to watch Elf and How the Grinch Stole Christmas! Make an evening of it- pop some popcorn, make some hot cocoa, and snuggle in your favorite blanket to unwind.
2 Listen to festive music. When I'm feeling overwhelmed, cheery music is a quick and easy way to lift my mood. Earlier this week I posted my favorite Christmas songs in a playlist- that's a great place to get started!
3 Bake. If you're like me, taking time to try a new recipe is a great way to relax. I really love baking and have always found it to be a great stress reliever! There are all kinds of yummy holiday recipes out there to try or you could whip up a family favorite!
4 Visit a light display. Where I grew up, there were always neighborhoods who took their Christmas decor to another level as compared to mine. Everyone knew who they were and made a point to drive by to check the displays out every year! You could also check out one of the many drive-through light shows that pop up around the season!
5 Read a holiday devotional. My small group is working through one right now and I think it's the best way to refocus on what the season is about. There are tons of bible reading guides online surrounding the Christmas story or advent-style devotionals that you can find for free!
6 Visit a coffee shop. I find a stop by the coffee shop to be relaxing. You can settle into a comfortable chair with a hot drink and take a deep breath. Not only do I love to get a good cup of coffee, I love to people watch! I've always found this to be relaxing.
7 Find a way to give back. Last year I volunteered at the Capital Area Food Bank close to the holidays, and am so thankful that I did! It was really rewarding to do something charitable in the middle of a time that has become so consumer- and self-focused. You can read all about my experience here. This year, I participated in Operation Christmas Child and it felt amazing. Giving back can mean donating time, or food, or money to those less fortunate that yourself.
8 Reflect. Simply take a moment and reflect on everything that you have to be thankful for this year. In the midst of the hustle and bustle, the best thing you can do to de-stress is to focus on the blessings in your life. It makes everything else feel small!
9 Call a relative or friend to catch up. It can be so rejuvenating to talk with someone you haven't spoken with in a while! I love to call my grandmother or some family friends when I'm feeling stressed. They're a breath of fresh air and help me relax for sure.
10 Take a soothing bath. This is my go-to all year round to de-stress and things are no different around the holidays! I love bath products and always put them to good use during the busy holiday season.
How do you de-stress during the holiday season? What do you do to keep it all together when you're busy?