Wintertime is the coziest season of all, with cool weather, gift-giving, family gatherings, big-budget Hollywood blockbusters, and time off from school and work. Whether you’re traveling, hosting, cooking, shopping, spending time with family, hunkering down solo, or all of the above, we’re all susceptible to the periodic bout of not-so-festive seasonal stress.
According to a 2015 survey by Healthline, the greatest holiday stressors include financial strain, maintaining healthy habits (like diet and exercise), and scheduling. Buying gifts can be lovely, but expensive. Holiday feasting can be a blessing and a curse. Maneuvering between personal obligations and social gatherings can feel like the full-time job you’re supposedly taking a break from.
Festive agitation can appear casually and without warning. This season, when the turkey timer goes off just as your guests show up 30 minutes early and your cousin phones to say he found a last minute date—who is a vegan by the way, but, ‘hopefully that’s not a problem’—you’ll know how to deal. Because forewarned is forearmed. Keep reading for some tried and true tactics to help you stay calm when the festive season gets stressful.
Seasonal Self Care
They say it’s the happiest season of all, but ‘happy’ isn’t a given. It’s more important than ever to practice self care during the holidays.
Families are the best and we’re lucky to have them, but let’s not beat around the bush. Take complicated family dynamics, unrealistic expectations, and memories of celebrations past, add sugar rushes, an abundance of carbs, and the inevitable crash—you’re left with what feels like a party in a pressure cooker. Be sure to allow yourself some restorative alone time to destress. After all, experts agree that it works. Conversely, if you’re celebrating solo or feeling lonely during the holiday season, make connections by reaching out to friends or family.
The American Psychological Association (APA) suggests that volunteering—alone or with family—can be a great way to reinforce human connection during the holiday season. Community engagement and giving back can help us feel better when the shopping, cooking, planning, family time, or alone time leave us feeling buried.
Maintain a Daily Routine
Routines are thrown out of whack during the holiday season as obligations change. Travel and modified studio schedules make it hard to get to your usual cardio class. Experts agree that squeezing in at least 30 minutes of daily exercise is one of the most effective strategies for managing stress, so make sure to stay active. Going to bed and waking up at consistent times everyday is another great way to keep things regular when holiday movie marathons and your post-feast cleanup get in the way. If the adrenaline rush of the holidays is making it difficult to maintain your sleep schedule, cozy up with a hot cup of Sleep Multiplier and eazzz into sleep faster. Our Non-GMO nighttime drink mix contains a precise ratio of Melatonin, L-Theanine, and Valerian Root. The perfect nightcap for any holiday celebration.
Moderation, Moderation, Moderation
The holidays can feel like a perfect excuse to abandon healthy habits. Moderation is key to maintaining the merry.
But it’s a holiday! Comfort food and festive sweets are the name of the game from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day. If throwing caution to the wind today will leave you feeling guilty tomorrow, then try a ‘less is more’ approach. Holiday eating tends to be more of a sport than a necessity, so make sure you’re actually hungry. If you find yourself feeling hungry more often than usual, you may actually be dehydrated. Dehydration can make you crave salt and trick you into thinking you’re hungry, even when you’re not. Try staying hydrated by sipping on our Hydration Multiplier before the feast.
Go Easy on the Booze
Holiday parties and family celebrations can and should be a time to let loose, unwind, and enjoy a respite from the daily grind. For some, this can mean indulging in a hot toddy or a glass of mulled wine. If you do choose to imbibe, we recommend keeping it minimal for everyone’s sake. Alcohol can act as fuel to the yule log fire of a tense holiday gathering. Holding back on the booze doesn’t mean you can’t sip on something festive. Instead of spiked eggnog, try Lemon Lime Hydration Multiplier warm in a festive holiday mug for 2-3x the hydration of water alone. Or if your holiday spirit is running low, sip some Energy Multiplier on ice in a highball glass. A cocktail-like experience that will upgrade your vibe for maximum festive.
All Comparisons Aside
Your holiday is yours and yours alone. Be present and steer clear of comparing this year’s cherry pie to the masterpiece from last year, or your family to the one you saw on Instagram.
Take a social media holiday. If you find yourself scrolling through photos, thinking: everyone else is having more fun, then it may be worth setting down your phone for a while. Experts agree that social media can relay a warped, not-quite-authentic representation of reality, especially during the holidays. If you start to feel like you’re competing in a race for the most fun, festive, glamorous, or over-the-top holiday celebration, consider stepping away from the feed. Remember that most people probably aren’t having a perfect holiday, despite what their posts might suggest.
Let Go of ‘Perfect’
Trying to make this holiday exactly like last year—or exactly the opposite—is a recipe for disaster. Manage expectations—keep them realistic, agree to do less, delegate or ask for help, forget about perfectionism, and let go of ‘should.’ There will inevitably be a lot to do, so try not to make holiday planning more difficult than it needs to be. From shopping marathons to high-stakes family Scrabble games that somehow last for hours, drinking Energy Multiplier is a great way to help power your celebrations.
We get it: holidays can be harrowing. Self care is the name of the game. Keeping hydration, energy levels, and sleep schedules top of mind is the key to creating a holiday that feels good from the inside, out. Stock up on our Hydration, Energy, and Sleep Multipliers to keep the bells jingling!
Written by Cleo Gold