Six Effective Ways to De-Stress During the Holidays

Ally Garofalo
3 min readDec 7, 2023

’Tis the season for self-care.

While often filled with joy and celebration, the holiday season can also bring additional stress. However, during the holidays, it’s imperative to prioritize self-care and find ways to de-stress.

Not sure where to start? Let’s explore six effective strategies you can try this year to unwind, recharge, and make the most of your holiday season.

Disconnect from Work

One of the most important steps to de-stressing during the holidays is to disconnect from work — for real. Set clear boundaries and communicate with colleagues and clients about your availability during the holiday season.

During your allocated days off work, avoid checking work emails or engaging in work-related tasks during your time off. This well-deserved break will allow you to mentally recharge and focus on spending quality time with loved ones, engaging in hobbies, or simply relaxing. After all, you work hard all year round; it’s time to give yourself some grace and space for rejuvenation.

Engage in Mindfulness Practices

Practicing mindfulness is a powerful tool for de-stressing during the holidays. Have a day or two off coming up? Incorporate activities like meditation, deep breathing exercises, or yoga into your schedule. You may just find it relaxing enough to incorporate into your daily routine.

New to meditation and mindfulness? Dedicate a few moments each day to quiet reflection, focusing on the present moment, and letting go of stressors. Mindfulness practices can help reduce anxiety, improve focus, and promote overall well-being.

Embrace Physical Activity

Engaging in regular exercise is an effective way to combat stress (and improve your mood). Take advantage of the holiday break to engage in activities you enjoy. Go for walks, runs, or bike rides outdoors, or participate in seasonal sports like ice skating or skiing.

Physical activity releases endorphins, which boost mood and alleviate stress. In addition to its physiological benefits, exercise can provide a much-needed mental break and improve overall energy levels.

Prioritize Quality Sleep

Amidst the holiday hustle and bustle, it’s important to prioritize quality sleep. Establish a consistent sleep routine for you and your family that allows for sufficient rest and adequate sleep each night.

The key to a good night’s rest starts with your bedroom. Create a relaxing environment by minimizing distractions and practicing good sleep hygiene.

Limit exposure to electronic devices before bedtime to promote better sleep. Adequate rest enables you to recharge both physically and mentally, reducing stress and enhancing overall well-being.

Engage in Creative Outlets

Artistic and creative endeavors can be a wonderful outlet for stress relief. Use the holiday season to explore hobbies such as painting, writing, cooking, or photography. Engaging in these activities can provide a sense of fulfillment, relaxation, and self-expression.

Allow yourself the freedom to be creative without any expectations or deadlines. It can be a refreshing break from work-related responsibilities and a chance to tap into your passions.

Connect with Loved Ones

The holiday season is an opportune time to prioritize relationships and connect with loved ones. Spend quality time with family and friends, engage in meaningful conversations, and participate in activities that foster connection. Surrounding yourself with loved ones provides emotional support, boosts mood, and helps alleviate stress.

Whether it’s sharing a meal, playing games, or engaging in heartfelt conversations, these interactions can bring joy and a sense of belonging.

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