Life Hacks to Help with Holiday Stress

by The Puritan's Pride Editorial Team

In this season of seemingly unending lists – to-do lists and wish lists, shopping lists and chore lists – it is very easy to get overwhelmed.

There’s no doubt this year has been unique. As a result, most people are figuring out ways to adapt these lists and get it all done at a different pace.

Using lists to help stay organized is useful; however, we think you could pare down your lists to just two: Your “to-do” list and your “want-to” list.

Checking it twice

Write down your “to-do” list. Now, check it twice. Cross off anything that isn’t a necessity. How do you do that? Simply think about whether or not the task is a “need” or a “should.” For instance, you probably don’t need to make five different kinds of cookies this year. The holidays will be different this year, and that is okay.

The “want-to” list should be comprised of things that will bring you joy. Is there a holiday festivity you’ve always wanted to participate in, but for some reason you’ve never found the time to do it? Make this the year you finally get to check it off your list. 

Your “want-to” can be something as simple as calling a friend to catch up or checking out the holiday lights in the neighborhood. Perhaps an uninterrupted evening of holiday television viewing is your ideal way to unwind.

Bring on the joy

Did you know that participating in something that gives you pleasure is a great way to reduce stress? Find your sense of joy through activities you love, or take a few moments of solitude.

If you’re having trouble unwinding and can’t seem to find a moment for yourself, you may want to help boost your mood with a little holiday spirit. Put on some favorite holiday music and add some soothing seasonal scents to your surroundings. Even if you’re busy with chores, this tactic can help those chores seem less like work and more like enjoyable activities.

>>Yoga, Massage, and Meditation: Three Options for Self-Care

Set the Scene

Because scents have a unique ability to make us feel strong emotions, aromatherapy may actually affect our mood.

Through the use of essential oils, we can help elicit moods or reactions – calming, soothing, invigorating, or even helping us to feel energized.

So whichever mood you’re trying to create, there may be a seasonal scent for that.

Peppermint: This delectable scent is often associated with an invigorating, refreshing feeling. Some find the strong fragrance of peppermint essential oil exhilarating.

Ginger: A warm, spicy scent can have a very soothing effect on your mood. This delicious smelling spice can conjure up holiday memories and encourage relaxation. To create an aura of coziness and warmth at home try ginger essential oil.

Cinnamon: Cinnamon and spice ARE nice! Cinnamon is a warm and comforting scent that makes the home feel cozy. You don’t only have to enjoy cinnamon in baked goods. Pop cinnamon essential oil into the diffuser and indulge in its comfort all season long.

Frankincense: Frankincense is an aromatic, spicy, and earthy oil with hints of citrus. Give frankincense essential oil a try if you like anchoring and soothing scents. 

Soothing spirits

So you’ve made your lists, you’ve filled your home with wondrous holiday scents and you’re still feeling frazzled. Here’s one last “hack” that may help banish the grumpy Grinch feeling. Herbs. Yes, the green plant parts we often use in the kitchen.

>>6 Little-Known Herbs that Support Well-Being

All year long, and especially during the harried holiday season, it’s important to support the immune system.* That’s where adaptogens come in. Adaptogens are a class of herbs that may help the body with stress.*

Traditional adaptogenic herbs can support health and wellness.* Here are some of our favorites.

Ashwagandha is native to India and the Middle East and has been used in Ayurvedic wellness traditions for centuries. Ashwagandha has a long history of traditional use with origins in Ayurveda.*Ashwagandha also supports cognitive health and may reduce occasional stress and anxiety.* 

Astragalus is a member of the pea family and a Chinese herbalism mainstay and also supports well-being.*

Cordyceps mushroom is a stalk-like mushroom whose name translates to “winter worm/summer grass.” 

Eleuthero root contains naturally occurring polysaccharides, which help give Eleutherococcus its supportive qualities.*

Holy basil is a traditional herb for wellness.* It is most consumed by drinking Tulsi tea.

Rhodiola has a long history of use in Russia and China, and naturally contains a wide range of antioxidants.*

One last suggestion to help you get through the holiday season – try to remember that this time of year should be a time of peace, joy, and making memories with family and friends. Be sure to discuss with your healthcare provider prior to taking any new supplements. And try to focus on the good times even when it might be difficult!