Wellness Tips for a Stress Free Holiday Season

The holiday season is a busy time full of social gatherings, travel, and gift shopping. These high-energy activities can be tiring and, at times, even overwhelming. Luckily, there are some simple things you can do to help relieve holiday stress. Here are some of the best tips for saying goodbye to resting Grinch face and hello to SLEIGHing your way through the season like a wellness pro.

Seek out Scents of Peace

Aromatherapy can help release negative emotions, calm the mind, and reduce stress. Here are a few forms of aromatherapy to choose from:

Smudge Sticks
Smudge sticks are bundles of herbs – white sage, lavender, or Yerba Santo – bound together by twine. Burning them helps reduce stress, balance energy, and cleanse spaces.
Learn more about the various smudge stick scents and how to use them here.

Massage Aromatherapy Oils
These oils are used in massage to help the body relax and relieve pain, tension, and discomfort. Some common massage aromatherapy oils are: jojoba oil, grape seed oil, and almond oil.

Essential Oils
Inhaling essential oils can help alleviate stress, insomnia, and depression. You can benefit from the healing fragrances of the oils by:
- using a diffuser
- using a spray bottle
- rubbing oil droplets in your hands and breathing in the aroma
- dropping some oil into a steam bath

    Find Stillness & Relaxation with Restorative Yoga

    Restorative yoga is a practice that focuses on slowing down and opening the body through extended periods of passive stretching. Props, such as yoga bolsters, blocks, and blankets, are used to support the body so poses can be held for longer periods of time. During the long holds of restorative poses, muscles and the mind are able to relax deeply. Research has found that restorative yoga can decrease depression, anxiety, and pain.

    Here are some simple, soothing restorative yoga poses utilizing a yoga bolster that you can try.

    Take Mid-Day Mindfulness Breaks

    Research shows that mindfulness and meditation can reduce stress, relieve emotional pain, and increase compassion. If you find that you are feeling tired, irritable, or overwhelmed, allow yourself to retreat and re-center with this simple exercise:

    Pause what you're doing and go to a private space without any distractions (yep, that means cell phones are a no-no). Place your hand over your heart, close your eyes, and take a slow, deep breath in. Follow that inhalation with a slightly longer exhale. Repeat that at least 5 times. This practice will take you out of the situation – and the stress that comes along with it – and into a calm, responsive state rather than an emotionally-fueled, reactive one.

    Do you find these stress-reducing tips helpful? Leave a comment, question, or tips of your own in the comments below!