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The holidays can be stressful for even the most well-planned, good-intentioned minimalist. All the present-getting, menu planning, and additions to the schedule leave a person feeling overwhelmed at times. Don't forget to take a few moments and grab one of these ideas to unwind from holiday stress. A few minutes a day will help you remember to find joy in the small things and in your people.
- Get Sunshine.
"Here comes the sun...Here comes the sun, and I say, It's all right" ~The Beatles
They were on to something, those Beatles, because Sunshine stimulates the production of the feel-good hormones in our bodies. Literally... standing in the sun makes you feel better. So get in the sun for a few minutes!
- Get a grapefruit and smell it.
Don't laugh, it's true. There are studies out there that say smelling citrus boosts our moods and acts as an instant booster of a hormone that lifts our moods. Whoda thunk... right?!? I'm a citrus lover and am all over this one! I've been trying to find out if a grapefruit candle has the same effect as a real grapefruit. So far I haven't been able to get a solid answer. I'm going with yes :).
- Get a hand massage.
The spot between your thumb and forefinger is a pressure point called hoku (according to Chinese medicine) and just 30 seconds of massaging it can reduce stress and tension in your body. On another note... massaging this spot is also fantastic for helping with motion sickness (personal experience :)). So go schedule a hand massage! Or hey, talk someone you love into giving you one.
- Say no.
You knew I was going to have to say it, didn't you? I have. Say no to a few things to free yourself up some time to just chill. If you can't say no perhaps you can say "Yes, but I'll have to leave a few minutes early." and then go get a hand massage :).
- Watch your favorite comedy sitcom.
Laughter really is the best medicine. Find a few moments to watch a favorite comedy or listen to a comedian. Skip the heavy drama's for right now and stick to the lighter stuff. You'll be so glad for the mood lifter!
- Establish a no-phone time.
I force myself to put my phone down at 6pm each night and leave it there until I'm at work the next morning when I am able to spend a night at home. Sure, it's not every night I'm able to do this but the nights I can make such a difference! Give yourself a break from the constant noise of the phone and set it in a cupboard for 15 minutes. Or ask your kids to hide it from you and not return it for an hour. They will be MORE than glad to help!
- Get some spicy curry.
Another HUH one. Did you know that spicy foods boost endorphins in the brain? I know... right! Eat up all that spicy food you love. I'm going to be eating curry and more curry this holiday season!
- Grab a great breakfast!
Especially on the days that promise to be long and dramatic don't be tempted to skip breakfast. Do the opposite, if you can. Sit down for a wonderful breakfast with a book, or your spouse, or a friend. If you can find the time to head to your favorite cafe for breakfast... do it! You'll be so glad to have the great start to the day and will find it surprisingly less difficult.
- Have sex.
Another Doh one... right?!? If you think spicy food or grapefruit is good for releasing feel-good's into the brain try sex. HALLELUJAH! Basically I'm saying start the day with a good breakfast and good sex and you'll be singing all day.
- Listen to tunes.
One of my favorites for when my time is very limited or when I'm waiting in line is to pop in my headphones and listen to a favorite funny podcast or music. Just a few minutes helps me zone out and de-stress. Those minutes seem to make all the difference! Carry a small set of headphones in your purse/bag and that's all you need. Because, unless you are doing number 6 all the day I KNOW you have your phone with you.
- Go for a jog.
Or walk. Or throw a family dance party impromptu like. Workouts boost your mood. We know it, don't we? So move that body!
- Stick to your routine.
As much as possible, stick to your regular daily routine. Your body and mind has some of your daily life on autopilot and doesn't have to do much thinking to accomplish tasks. Rely on that as much as you can and throw a wrench in only as you have to. I try to block schedule my day over the holidays and keep my mornings routine and then schedule events and meetings over the afternoons. This helps me feel a bit more grounded and less scattered.
- Sleep in.
If you can find a day to grab some extra sleep in the morning... do it! Sometimes it's not the extra sleep we crave as much as the idea that we slept in! Say no to something extra on the schedule to get the time you need to grab a little extra shut-eye.
- Indulge in a favorite.
Pairing wine with chocolate is one of my favorite indulgences. I will grab a few moments over the holidays to sit and sip a glass of wine and eat a small amount of chocolate. Usually by the fire with the Christmas tree on. Tell me...how can one feel stressed in that moment?
Just the other day I sat down with my husband to have a moment of relaxing before the Holiday's started in full force. We paired Clos du Bois Pinot Noir and BROOKSIDE Dark Chocolate Pomegranate Flavor together. Yum!! Tension? What tension. It was all relaxation.
Just the two of us, a lovely fire, wine and chocolate. Perfect. BROOKSIDE Chocolate is rich, dark chocolate with sweetened, exotic fruit flavored centers. It's a new favorite indulgence of mine.
We tried several different wine and chocolate pairings to see which was our favorite. And, because it tasted lovely!
A wine & chocolate party would be a fantastic shower idea! Simply serve several bottles of chilled wine and various kinds of chocolate to your guests. Supply them with cards to submit their favorite pairings and you have yourself a fun, simple, and delicious party idea! Keeping it simple folks!