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5 Self-Care Ideas to Manage Stress This Holiday Season

Women enjoying hot tea and reading by the light of the holiday tree

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, but it can also be among the most stressful. With both social and financial pressure weighing on you, it can be easy to feel like you’re missing out on the joy of the season.

So, if the stress is already setting in, try these self-care ideas to raise your spirits without draining your bank account.

1. Give yourself a gift.

You work hard all year long, then you hustle to make the special holiday meals and gifts happen for your family and friends. But … aren’t you forgetting someone? Buy yourself something from your holiday list, even if it’s small. Then do yourself a favor and set up an automatic savings deposit, so you can treat yourself throughout the year too. You deserve it! 

2. Plan a DIY craft day with the girls.

DIY projects are a fun and inexpensive way to lighten the mood. Spending time with your girl group will help you relax and have fun despite the million things you have on your holiday to-do list. You could even knock something off that list (and save money) by using your craft day to make meaningful homemade gifts. If you need help with ideas, try out these creative DIY gift ideas!

3. Carve out some quality alone time.

Alone time is important, especially this time of year when there are so many social activities on your calendar. Take some time to watch a few of those cheesy Christmas movies you love or sit down with a cup of hot chocolate and get lost in a book. Do exactly what you want without expectations. Chances are it’s long overdue.  

4. Stay active (even when it’s cold).

Staying active can relieve stress and help burn off some of those extra holiday calories (we’re looking at you, cookies!). Get your endorphins going with some fun winter activities like sledding or ice skating, which are usually pretty affordable (bonus!). Or take a walk and look at all the holiday lights in your neighborhood – hot cocoa optional. You can even invite the whole family, so your exercise is part of bonding time. Two turtle doves, one stone! 

5. Revel in the holiday spirit!

We all have to-dos we need to tackle this time of year, but you can make them a little less stressful by infusing them with a little holiday cheer. Put on a playlist of your favorite holiday songs while you’re cooking, or treat yourself to a peppermint mocha while you’re out running errands. Grab your ugly Christmas sweater and get to it!

By taking a break from the holiday hustle and bustle and prioritizing self-care, you can stay ahead of the stress while keeping the holidays happy and on budget.