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Ways to Destress at Home During the Holidays

The holiday season can be a stressful time for anyone. Through meal preparation, organizing and decorating, there can be a lot on your mind to get your home ready for the festivities. Now is the time to pay extra attention to yourself while in the season of giving, and not let stress impact your holidays. So whether you are planning on hosting the holidays with your family at home in Denver, CO, or on your way to a gathering in Toronto, CA, here are some ways to destress at home during the holidays to prepare you for anything.

Start off the day with a morning routine

One easy strategy for destressing over the holidays is to create a morning self-care ritual. Even if you only have 5 minutes, establishing a restorative morning routine can set a positive tone for your entire day. Examples of morning self-care rituals at home:

  • Yoga
  • Meditation
  • Journaling
  • Music
  • Reading
  • Deep breathing
  • Aromatherapy
  • Skincare
  • Nourishing breakfast


Put some things that excite you on the calendar

By intentionally putting an activity that excites you on your calendar each week this holiday season, you’ll have something to consistently look forward to. Rather than focusing on your stress and anxiety, you’ll instead feel excited about the activities you’ve planned. Just a few ideas could be a family outing like ice skating, exploring somewhere local you’ve never gone before, or meeting up with an old friend who you’ve lost touch with!  – Modern Therapy

Take deep breaths when waking up and going to bed

I recommend 3 to 4 rounds of conscious deep breaths every morning after waking up and before bedtime. The optimal number of breaths per round is 30. The morning routine helps keep our blood pressure lower providing an emotional reset to better face the challenges of the day. The bedtime routine is to sleep better and faster. – Timeqube

Create a gratitude journal

During the holiday season, we tend to over-exert ourselves with cooking, baking, decorating, shopping, and socializing. If you’re feeling especially stressed and anxious around this time of year, cross off some of the unnecessary activities on your to-do list and devote that time to restful reflection. Making a gratitude list and journaling about your favorite memories from this year will help to ground you, so you can savor this special time with your loved ones lightheartedly. – Dr. Messina & Associates

Listen to your favorite sounds to relax your mind

I recommend putting together a playlist of your top favorite sounds, such as sounds of the ocean, raindrops, morning sounds or even a slow heartbeat, and taking a daily 10-minute break to put headphones on and listen to it. The right combination of sounds can lower your heart rate and cortisol stress hormone levels and help calm your mind and body.  My personal favorite is Weightless, which was created specifically to help calm the nervous system. – Cohesive Therapy NYC

Create time for yourself to reflect

Practicing radical self-care during the holidays is an absolute must for mind/body/spirit health. Keep it simple: get outside and connect with nature every day, carve out sacred space for no-phone quiet time, balance every glass of eggnog or holiday sweet with a glass of water! – Spirited Living

Destress at home with an in-home spa

If you are wound up like a top and have no time to de-stress at a spa, bring the spa to you.

  • Take a warm bath in Ancient Minerals Magnesium to soothe aches and pains and relax muscles before bed for a sound sleep. Add your favorite essential oils to lull your mind.
  • Get a buckwheat-filled wrap and heat in the microwave, wrap it around your neck and put on a sleep mask with some soft music – and breathe deep & slow. Sweet dreams!

Therapeutic Kneads, Ltd.

Set boundaries with your friends and family

Self-care doesn’t have to look like a spa, the gym, or a luxurious indulgence. It can look like simply setting boundaries with your friends and family around what you will accept and how many holiday events you’re able to participate in. It can look like creating a safe space inside your home and scheduling a specific timeframe each day where nobody is allowed to bother you in that space, and journal, meditate, exercise, or do anything else that brings you joy. Maintaining those boundaries and taking care of yourself is key to keeping your mind and body balanced and ready to take on all the holiday stressors that may arise – inside or outside the home! – JK Photos

Listen to your body and respect others’ feelings

Whether you think you can or can’t, you’re right. Honor your feelings and respect those of others and everything will be alright. – Vori Health.

Getting creative can help you relax

Engaging in art-making can be used as a therapeutic self-care activity because it promotes the flow of creativity and increases your imagination, which can reframe negative thoughts and emotions. You will find that just ten minutes of rest with a mindful activity can uplift your mood, reduce stress, and replenish your energy.  Try doodling, drawing, collage-making or knitting. – The Art Therapy Project 

Include your family in preparations so there is less on you

Holidays are not about perfection, rather family, connection, and yes, messiness, so, show yourself some self-care by loosening up on those high expectations. Share experiences, for example, divvy up the holiday meal preparation – put the name of each dish in a hat and have everyone pick one randomly; you’ll have less to do, and your kiddos will learn some skills. Laugh heartily and when you feel the signals of stress, try some box breathing to bring down your heart rate (in for 4, hold for 4, exhale for 4, hold for 4 and repeat).  Remember wellness isn’t stuck on a container ship – it’s right in your grasp – just choose mindful ways to enjoy this season without carrying all the burden! – Reset Lounge

Create a space of relaxation with essential oils

Create an aromatherapy ritual that allows you to slow down and be present, like diffusing essential oils every evening or having a weekly aromatherapy bath to unwind. Lavender is great for calming, frankincense is known for grounding, and citrus oils can uplift the spirit. Be sure to use your aromatherapy ritual as an intentional time to focus on your breath. – Wild Grove Essentials 

Others’ moods can affect your own

What’s the ultimate de-stressor? Focus on making your partner happy, and you might see your anxieties lessen. There’s nothing like a little snuggle time at home to take your mind off things! – Book of Us

How to grieve a personal loss in a healthy way

The holidays are also the time of year where we tend to reflect and remember someone we have lost during the year. It could be a parent, friend or a pet. Instead of bottling up these emotions, it is important to talk about your loss, seek support or bereavement groups, and know that it’s “ok to not feel ok.” It also helps to act on behalf of our loved ones and honor them through a donation or sharing positive stories of their lives on Social Media. This is therapeutic for us too. – HCO Behavioral Health Services

Increase activity levels to release endorphins

Whether you are working at home or are back at the office, it’s very easy to forget how sedentary our lives have become. This holiday season, we strongly advise taking baby steps to increase your activity levels on non-working days. It can be as simple as showing your pet some love and taking them for a long walk, or as complex as performing a 10-minute no-equipment home workout. The beauty of it is that moving more will increase your endorphins and adrenaline levels, which can be a great stress reliever during the holidays. – Vantage Circle


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7 Ways to Have an Epic Summer with Your BFF

Have a fun-filled summer with this list of activities for you and your best friend! Whether you’re looking to travel or enjoy the summer sunshine, we have an epic list of things to do with friends. Your best friend is like family—someone you can talk to about anything. With such a special bond, you deserve to plan an incredible summer together and make unforgettable memories. This doesn’t mean you have to spend a fortune or plan an extravagant day. Any activity where you can laugh together is special. Check out these best friend activities for the ultimate summer vacation.​

Road trip to a new city.

Go on a fun adventure with your best friend to a city you’ve never visited. Road tripping gives you the freedom to explore, but on an affordable budget. Take in the beautiful views, karaoke to songs on the radio at the top of your lungs and feed each other snacks as you drive. Check out the city’s shopping area; visit a new restaurant; take funny pictures or a TikTok video. Before the day’s over, park at the top of a hill and watch the sunset. Summer days are gone before you know it. Make your best friend road trip one to remember.

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Visit a summer music festival.

Tick this one off your best friend bucket list and attend a summer music festival in your area. Dance and party to your favorite tunes with your ride-or-die BFF. A summer music festival has everything: sun, food, eclectic musicians, and a feel-good summer vibe with exciting energy. Rev up your summer and find a summer music festival near you!

Plan the perfect beach day.

Spend an epic beach day with your best friend this summer! We have you covered to make this the best day ever. Create a summer playlist on your phone and bring a cooler with snacks. Freeze a water bottle to use as an ice pack while suntanning. When it melts you have fresh, icy cold water to drink. Another summer beach hack: Freeze Kool-Aid into ice cubes and enjoy plain or drink with vodka in a reusable cup.

Bar and burger hop around town.

Pick your favorite rideshare app and hop around town to the best bars and burger places. What’s better than sampling the best local draft beer your state has to offer and not having to drive?

Workout with weights at the gym.

Want to get that toned summer bod? Working out with a best friend is the perfect way to stay motivated and healthy. Best friend workouts are also more fun. If you ride the struggle bus when it comes to pushing through a long workout, talking and joking with a friend makes everything feel easier. Grab brunch afterward as a reward for burning those calories.

Visit an amusement park.

When was the last time you rode a roller coaster or ate cotton candy? Summer is the perfect time to act like a silly kid and indulge your inner child! Go all out at the amusement park. Get soaking wet on the water rides. Play the carnival games to win a stuffed animal. Eat all the junk food. Splurge on a whole day of pure fun.

Attend a wine tasting.

Drinks with friends is always a good time! Find a wine tasting event at a local winery and sip the summer day away. Check out the winery’s event calendar to see if they are holding themed wine nights so you can choose your favorite. You can also host a wine party at your house! Just grab a few bottles of wine and create a simple charcuterie board. A wine tasting or wine party is a fun and classy way to spend time with your best friend this summer. Pour the rosé and enjoy a taste of summer.

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9 Ways to Practice Self-Care for a Better You

For this year’s New Year’s resolutions, focus on overall health and wellness, making yourself a priority. Here are nine ways to practice self-care for a better you. By focusing on self-care this year, you will become stronger physically and mentally. Build your self-esteem and confidence with these self-care tips you can practice throughout the year.

The trick about self-care is that it’s all about practice. It requires focus and effort. You may find yourself falling into familiar patterns, focusing on tasks and responsibilities. But it’s equally important to make time for yourself. Self-care is the effort of putting yourself first. This year it’s all about you! We hope these self-care suggestions give you a daily dose of happiness and peace.

9 Ways to Practice Self-Care for a Better You

1. Focus on getting enough sleep.

Sleep can have a huge effect on your emotional and physical state. Consider your nightly routine and ways to improve. Try to avoid caffeine and sugar before bed. Make sure your bedroom is dark—blackout shades are life changing! Stay away from your computer, phone, and tablet before bed. The stress of being an adult can sometimes mean it’s harder to self-soothe compared to when we were children. Find ways to relax and decompress. Listen to music, read a book, or meditate. Above all, establish a sleep schedule. Go to bed the same time every night and wake up the same time every morning. This steady routine will help you stick to the schedule and get plenty of rest.

2. Eat healthy and get into a self-care eating routine.

Eating healthy can boost your energy level, improve your physical health, and enhance your overall happiness as a result. Try to eat healthy meals regularly. Create a schedule and eat meals at the same time each day. Avoid eating or snacking after 7pm because your body is less likely to break down and process the food. Take care of yourself by taking care of your food health.

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3. Say yes to fun activities weekly without the guilt. 

Put yourself first and do things that make you happy every week. Avoid guilt-tripping yourself like, “I should be working” or “I could be cleaning.” Push aside those negative thoughts and make yourself a priority. Do things that you love—either alone or with friends—like reading, bicycling, watching your favorite movie, eating dessert at a café, visiting a museum or the zoo. Set aside time to have fun!

4. Make a list of fun to-dos each month.

If you love lists and checking boxes, this self-care practice is for you! Journal a list of activities you want to do each month. By listing them out, you’ll be more likely to do them. Cross them off or check the box every time you finish one. Create a list of activities big and small. For example, here is a possible list for February: eat a piece of chocolate cake, join a fun run, host a Galentine’s Day party, watch a favorite movie, sleep in on Saturdays, knit a scarf. Don’t make a crazy list you can’t finish. Instead, try listing activities that are simple, easy, and fun. When you look at the completed list, you’ll feel good knowing you devoted time to self-care.

5. Make time for self-care trips.

Take a self-care trip every now and then to disconnect and rejuvenate. Whether you go on a big bucket list trip or a mini road trip, a self-care vacation can make a big difference in your mental health and wellness. Schedule weekends when you can get away. Nature and beach trips are perfect for unwinding. City trips introduce new cultures and amazing sights. Even a trip to another local town helps you escape your regular routine. Boost your health and happiness with some dedicated self-care time.

6. Show up for others to build a healthy community.

An important part of self-care is providing support to others. If you want positive, healthy support from others, you also need to reciprocate. Healthy relationships are two-way. By giving and receiving, you will build a healthy community of friends and family who care. They will show up for you when you need them. Self-care isn’t about isolating yourself. It’s about giving time to yourself as well as spending time with others who build your confidence, self-esteem, and healthy mindset. You will also feel good when you provide support to someone else.

Doing something kind for someone else is a great way to provide support. Surprise a friend or romantic partner with a thoughtful gift, such as the Book of Us™. This custom book about love is full of kind, sentimental messages that will make your loved ones feel special and valued.

7. Create a hygge space in your home that’s just for you.

Design a corner or small spot in your home that has all your favorite things. Create your space with “hygge” in mind. If you haven’t come across the hygge trend yet, “hygge” is a Danish word—without a direct translation—that generally means a feeling of cozy contentment and enjoying the simple things. Embrace hygge by designing a spot in your home with warm blankets, a good book, candles, hot chocolate, fuzzy socks, twinkling lights, pictures of friends and family, and self-care products like nail polish, face masks, and body lotion. This inviting space will encourage you to relax and enjoy a few self-care hours in cozy happiness.

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8. Find a creative outlet.

Discover a creative activity you love that also helps release emotions. Self-expressive activities focus your mind, pushing out negative or persistent thoughts. They also help manage stress. If you are looking for a creative outlet, you can paint, draw, crochet, craft, write poetry, or take up an instrument. Express yourself through creativity to work out problems, cope with stress, and embrace the beauty all around you.

9. Schedule an appointment with a counselor.

Counselors can help teach mindfulness and self-talk techniques for making a better you. Therapy isn’t just for those who are experiencing extreme anxiety or depression. Therapy is for everyone, to help establish a positive state of mind and to handle day-to-day frustrations a little lighter. Speaking with a counselor is self-care for your mind and emotions. Consider therapy to build an even greater love for yourself and those around you.

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