5 Timely Tips to Keep Holiday Stressors at Bay

author/source: Donna Racette

Holiday Shopping Photo Courtesy of Greyson JorelemonThe holidays have sneaked upon us once again. Now that they're here, this can be the most wonderful time of the year or, can cause stress and anxiety. I vote for the first one. 

Am I the only one with an endless laundry list of coordinating family get-togethers, finding perfect gifts, decorating our home like a winter wonderland, sending out holiday cards (does anyone else still do this?), and keeping up with traditions? Not to mention cooking, cleaning, shopping, oh, and walking the dog, who’s currently covered in tinsel. 

This month, let's be intentional to make time to relax and embrace ways to focus on ourselves. Haha, ladies - I hear that laughter in your heads shouting sarcastically, "Sure, but WHEN?" 

Let's start with this truth, there are many health benefits linked to relaxing, like pain relief and heart health. It’s not only OK to focus on yourself during the hustle + bustle, but also important for your health. 

There are several ways you can minimize stress during this festive time of the year, despite all the demands that seem to keep piling up.

5 Timely Tips to Keep Holiday Stressors at Bay:

(1) Plan your shopping

Organize your shopping strategically by setting a budget, writing down your gift list, and safely shopping in stores or online. Like many of you, I'm a big proponent of shopping locally and with fellow women entrepreneurs.

(2) Invest in yourself

The more things on your to-do list, the more important it is to take time for self-care so you can approach your tasks with presence and positivity. Give yourself an early presence by dedicating time to your favorite activity or treating yourself to an at-home spa day. I've included some bonus Relaxation Tips below.

Christmas Photo Courtesy of Mel Poole(3) Choose quality over quantity

Keeping up with traditions and planning safe holiday activities are fun but can be overwhelming. We can also go overboard while trying to make everything perfect. Remember that spending quality time with loved ones is most important. So, don’t stress if you don’t get around to sending out the aforementioned holiday cards this year.

(4) Know your limits

Again, I hear that laughter in your head! If you are overwhelmed with extra chores or tasks this holiday season, pull in others to help. Prioritize which items need your attention first and if certain tasks can wait, place them on the back burner and revisit them when the holiday hustle + bustle begins to settle. Side note: self-care is NOT a back-burner item. 

(5) Take a mindful break

If you’re feeling symptoms of stress or anxiety, or if you want to set the stage for an optimal day, stop and take a quick relaxation break. Check out my Relaxation Tips below for ideas.  

I encourage you to not let the holidays overwhelm you. Instead, identify your holiday triggers and address them in advance so you can thrive this holiday season. As you consider the importance of your self-care, the following are some self-care tips. Try one or any combination to help you relax, remain calm, and be present.

Photo courtesy of Joshua OluwagbemigaRelaxation Tips for Self-Care:


Simply breathe. Breathing is one of the few things our bodies cannot live without. Therefore, it has a major effect on us, both consciously and unconsciously. Close your eyes and inhale slowly and fully, pulling the air in through your nose. Hold your breath for just a beat and then, exhale slowly and deliberately through your mouth like you’re blowing through a straw. Do this a few times and then open your eyes and continue with what you were doing. This is one of the most effective methods for bringing the body and mind to a relaxed state.

Burn a candle

Have your favorite scented or unscented candle lit in the background as you go about your to-do list. As the weather gets cooler, consider cozying up next to the candle with a nice blanket and book. This is sure to relax you and keep you calm. Just be sure to blow the candle out before you go to sleep or leave the house, please.

Take a bubble bath

My personal favorite. Soothe your mind and body with a nice hot bath. You can add things like Epsom salts and essential oils to help transform your bathroom into a spa-like atmosphere. Soak for at least 20 minutes with the door locked so you can be left alone to drift into your calming happy place. If you don’t have a bathtub, try a warm shower with some eucalyptus drops, tablets, or sprays. 

Bath bombs are bath products that enhance relaxation and enjoyment during bath time. Essential oils, colorants, moisturizing oils, and fragrances are added for aroma, color, and skin-soothing properties. Bath bombs offer a luxurious and customizable bathing experience in various shapes, sizes, colors, and scents, used for relaxation and skin benefits. Are you interested in making your homemade bathbombs? You can buy bathbomb making supplies from https://n-essentials.com.au/shop/collections/bathbomb-making-supplies/.

Take A Sauna

A sauna can effectively alleviate holiday stress by providing relaxation, detoxification, improved sleep, muscle relaxation, enhanced mental clarity, and opportunities for social interaction. The heat and tranquil environment inside a sauna promote relaxation and trigger the release of endorphins, helping you destress.

Additionally, the act of sweating in a sauna aids in the removal of toxins from the body, which can have a rejuvenating effect. Using a sauna, especially in the evening, can contribute to better sleep quality, addressing sleep disruptions caused by holiday stress. It also helps relax your muscles.


Channel your inner child and pull out those colored pencils or grab your kids’ crayons. If you don’t have access to a coloring book, there are many free printable pages online, or certainly, you can color freestyle. Concentrating on coloring will help focus your mind away from your stressors. Allow your mind to drift into the pages and embrace your creativity. 

Five years ago, my friend Candace sent me a holiday greeting with a typo, "Messy Christmas!" I loved it so much, I adopted it. Most everything about the holidays SHOULD be messy, making gingerbread houses, gift wrapping, Grandma's homemade pierogis, and even holiday parties. They go hand-in-hand with the messiness and imperfection of our families, love, and humankind.

No matter where you are in life right now, my sister, know you deserve to enjoy every morsel of this season. Be perfectly Imperfect You. And, please have a very Messy Christmas and holiday season. 

Donna Racette Merry ChristmasBIO:

Donna Racette is a Certified Health Coach, empowering women to take the reins of their health and life. She founded Heart Led Health with a personal pledge to challenge, inspire, and equip people to awaken their why, embrace what’s possible, and dare to live the life they desire and deserve.  

Since 2012, Donna Racette has coached thousands of people across the United States, specializing in weight loss, self-esteem, abundance, mindfulness, and energy. She lives on the south side of Boston with her sweetheart Jonathan and their English Chocolate Lab, Bear.  

Prior to health coaching, Donna had nearly 30 years of experience as a versatile, award-winning marketing communications professional. She loves writing, hearing people’s stories, kayaking, the ocean, Pilates, and a good personal challenge.

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