Beating the Holiday Rush for Stress Relief

Fall is the perfect time to take stock and make preparations for a healthy low-stress holiday season. Now is the time to clean and get rid of all the clutter. The cold weather brings us indoors more so it makes sense to make our environment as pleasing and organized as possible. This alone goes a long way in reducing stress. Here are several more great ideas to help you prepare for a low stress season:

The sooner you begin preparing for the holidays, the less stressful they will be. Start making lists now of what you would like to do or buy. Note when you’d like to have each task done. Keep your lists handy so you can take advatage of sales and unexpected shopping opportunities. Maintain a list of what you have purchased to avoid confusion later. It is also very helpful to save the lists for future years. Save last years menu’s, recipes and how to tips to make cooking easier and faster.

Browse catalogs early, plan craft projects and address cards while relaxing in front of the television in the evenings or carry these projects with you in a bag to do during little moments while waiting in line, riding the bus, etc.

Try doing some holiday shopping on the Internet and avoid driving to stores and fighting traffic and the crowds. Wrap gifts as you shop instead of waiting to do all of them at the last hectic minute. Or even better, shop at stores that will wrap the gifts for you. It’s My Nature is running a special this month for free gift wrapping.

Ask for help. Asking guests to each bring something for a meal or to help out with a project actually makes everyone feel like they are a part of things. Ask people what they would like to receive for Christmas. Surprises are great but asking for ideas can make shopping so much easier and it is nice when you know you gave a gift that was really wanted.

Set priorities. We tend to overextend ourselves during the holidays. To combat stress, lower your expectations of yourself and others and decide what activities are most important to you. Be willing to let go of old traditions if they no longer work for your family. Find new ones that are satisfying. When scheduling your time, remember quality over quantity.

Knowing your spending limit and sticking to it can relieve holiday stress. You can show love and caring with a thoughtful gift that doesn’t have to cost a lot of money.

It is most important during this time to take good care of yourself. Do some type of pleasurable exercise everyday. This is the number one way to relieve stress and tension and an added bonus is that it gets you away from the stressful situations for awhile. Get some fresh air daily and eat good healthy foods and drink plenty of water. We aren’t as thirsty in cooler weather but it is so important to drink a lot of water every day to flush out toxins, hydrate the skin and aid our digestion. Get enough sleep to avoid crankiness and so you will have the energy to enjoy the feastivities.

Breathe! Taking a few deep breaths is an excellent way to relief stress or feelings of being overwhelmed. Even better, inhale your favorite essential oil from a vial or put a few drops on a tissue.

And don’t forget to laugh!! Laugh out loud every day. Don’t take it all so seriously.

A lot of people dread the holidays because their inner experience is so different from what is being hyped all around us. Holidays can be hard on our emotions. Tune out the hype and stay tuned in to who you are. Adopt an attitude that no matter how things go, you will make the best of whatever happens. We need to remember to enjoy the journey, not just the destination. Don’t “dread” any part of it - the shopping, the wrapping, the cooking, the cleaning, etc., Try to find happiness in all of it. And remember, this too shall pass!

Author's Bio: 

Susan Stewart is co-founder and partner of It's My Nature, an Aromatherapy business based in Florence, Oregon. Providing dried herbs, essential oils and many comfort and stress reducing products. Catering to the beginner with small sizes, recipes and an informative monthly newsletter. See It's My Nature's large, informative website at or a free brochure is available by calling 1-888-445-5051.