It’s that time of year where we are being pulled in 101 different directions – many of which we want to go in! There’s no better feeling than being around those you love who light you up, sharing good times, laughs, great eats and bubbly – but what about all those other obligations? I’ve made a rule the past couple years to not do things out of obligation, though sometimes you take one for the team and attend something in support of someone you care about to help make their lives a little easier – and, in the process, are pleasantly surprised by the amazing time you hadn’t anticipated to have.
For the moments of reprieve when you need them, here’s my short list of things that help me de-stress. Not all are wallet-friendly, though for each there is an alternative 😉
1. Do something with your hands. This one’s the most versatile as the possibilities are endless.
- My skin care routine is ultra-therapeutic, I find doing make-up can too, be relaxing – playing around with a new look. Baking or cooking something ultra-mindfully to the degree that you actually have to focus (on the task at hand) so you’re removed from whatever stressor previously induced and intently immersed in your creation. The creation I’d like to attempt is making a keto-version of short bread! Short bread reminds me of my late mum, as it was always one of her and my favorites (and she made a mean one). Painting, journalling, vision boarding, playing the piano or guitar, you name it. Get lost in doing something with your hands, it will take the stress out of the moment and give you a release.
2. Strike up a workout. Whether this is hitting up spin or Pilates, running (since you can do this anywhere) or trying something new – a Beyonce dance class. Do it. If you’re homebound (like me right now 2 weeks into recovery from my latest foot surgery), stream a workout on-demand.
- Perfect workouts can be found all over YouTube! My fave is fitness & wellness expert (and bud), Tracy Campoli. For workout’s while travelling, check this YouTube of mine out (fitness, travel, carry-on only and money hacks), paired with this read (also on this blog).
3. Shop. Yes! Bundle up and window shop if you’re not in spending-mode, or shop online. Make a wish list, do some research, and hunt deals. You can always add your items to cart – though you don’t always need to check-out (and purchase) 😉
- One hack I use when I’m impulse shopping online is to screen shot the item and move it into a folder on my computer Desktop called “Wish List”. If I come back to it in 48 hours and it’s still on my mind, I can afford it, and have found the best place/price to find it, I’ll pull the trigger. Half the time I forget about what’s in there, unless it’s something I legit need – hence circle back out of need not want.
4. Get pampered. I’m a huge advocate of this one. Book a body wrap, a massage, a mani, pedi, accupuncture, a facial, whatever have you, and show up for your appointment ahead of time. Make full use of the extra amenities (that are generally complimentary when you’re booked-in for a paid service) like steam rooms, yummy tea, dried nuts and fruit, decompressing with a juicy gossip mag’ the spa has on it’s coffee table, etc. Raise yo’ hand if you’re in love with those big, fluffy white robes! #thisgirl
- If pampering at home (equally amazing), settle into an epsom salt or moore mud bath, bust out your fave candles (mine is usually some blend of jasmine, amber, vanilla, neroli, or pine) and turn some tunes on. If you’re a total weirdo like me, I toss on a podcast or audio book sometimes and just lay there and close my eyes. Pure bliss!
5. Create home ambience and a relaxing stimulus. Listen to music, put a show on in the background that’s nostalgic and is a guaranteed feel-good. Your environment SO affects your mood, and your internal workings, too. Don’t discount the power of conscious space crafting.
- Put some essential oils in the nebulizer and turn that puppy on. Lighting is key (soft light bulbs or dimmers, if you have them). Turn the ringer off on your phone (if even temporarily). Bonus points for ordering take-out and having it delivered, or having pre-prepped healthy meals & snacks to nosh on when you’re not in the mood to create and know when to throw in the towel convenience-wise (it’s totally okay).
Bonus love: HYDRATE! Water is good for just about everything and when we’re running on “low” energy and fuel, we need water even more. This is just a reminder to make a conscious effort to hydrate with WATER, although difficult to substitute for December regular’s like egg nog & spiced rum, holiday coffee’s, champ’s, and whatever else full of sugar can be found.
Other amaze tips for a finance-friendly de-stress:
- Headspace (a free App that helps guide you in meditation)
- Get out and volunteer. When you’re helping others, you’re helping yourself, and there are always extra hands on deck needed, especially around the holidays.
- Go on a sleigh ride! Prep your go-go mug with your poison of choice, grab a bud and find a sleigh ride to go on one night and tour Christmas lights
- Start your own tradition so you have something to look forward to each year
Tips that will automatically melt away stress (when you practise them):
- Learn to say no
- Understand that FOMO (fear or missing out) is insane. If you’re meant to be somewhere, you’ll be there. If not, there’s another day.
- Don’t allow others to make you feel guilty. Learn to be comfortable with making a solid decision and stick to it.
- You don’t need to explain yourself, period.
My absolute refuge? Sticking to my morning ritual (worth it’s weight in gold) every damn day and my nighttime routine at least 5 our of 7 days. This keeps my sanity in check, helps the rest of what I have going on in my life centered, and guides me to remember my big picture vision which helps me build up towards that which is important, instead of recklessly spending and tearing it down, all while still being generous to all who cross my path.