Holiday Tips to De-Stress

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Ah, the festive holiday season…for all the glitter & cheery music, staff parties & family events, gifts to get (or make) & give, it can all feel overwhelming! The holidays can feel full of should dos or should haves, obligations….and instead of being celebratory it feels like something you have to just grit your teeth  & get through. So, here are some tips that may help you relax, ‘ungrit’ your teeth and find some ease in your holiday ho, ho, ho…

  1. Avoid multi-tasking. There is lots of research that shows us humans are not as good at multi-tasking as we think we are…Try to do one thing at a time. Focus and attend to what you are doing in that moment. Getting ahead of yourself or overly focusing on the past can throw you off balance.
  2. Exhale. Intentional breathing allows you to connect with your body & the present moment. Often when we are stressing, we are holding our breath. When we hold our breath, it is simply much more difficult to think straight and make better decisions.
  3. Help someonewho is having a hard time through this holiday season. Make a care package for a neighbour or babysit your sister’s kids so she can have a bubble bath in peace! A small thing to you can mean a lot to someone else and it can be a great way to refocus your holiday.
  4. Rest. Many of us think rest is something you earn when you have worked ‘hard enough’. Consider that rest can be the very thing that supports you in your endeavours. Rest nurtures and rejuvenates. Rest can be much more than taking naps…though that is recommended…consider what may be rest-full for you. Maybe reading a novel for a bit, standing outside and taking a few deep breaths of cool air, savouring a cup of herbal tea, sitting in silence for a few minutes or dancing to your favourite tune…I think you get the idea. They ALL cab be considered rest.
  5. Nourish Yourself. I don’t mean just yummy food though sometimes when we are busy we can forget to deeply care for our bodies. Just like all living things we need to be fed & watered!! But we also require emotional nourishment. This can come from connecting with people you care about, hanging out with your dog or cat, or walking in nature. What feels nourishing to you?


Mercedes Baines is a psychotherapist in private practice. Mercedes believes that the embodied experience is central to deepening self-awareness, healing and insight. She views our minds/bodies/spirits as an interconnected whole and encourages fully embodied living. Her areas of focus in her psychotherapy practice include: grief & loss; anxiety; depression; trauma; body image; relationships; living with a life altering/life threatening illness; family of origin issues; identity issues; sexuality & issues related to race & culture. You can email her at [email protected]  or check out her website