Relaxing on Holiday: 12 Simple Ideas

The holiday season is supposed to be a time of rest, relaxation, and rejuvenation. However, for many people it can turn into a stressful time full of obligations, expenses, cooking and cleaning. This year, make an effort to build in true relaxation time during your holiday break. Here are 12 simple ideas to help you relax and recharge:

  1. Unplug completely. Choose a few hours or a full day where you completely disconnect from technology and immerse yourself in the present moment. Turn off your phone, tablet and computer and give your mind a break from the constant stimulation.
  2. Get a massage. Treat yourself to a soothing massage from a professional therapist. The combination of human touch and muscle relaxation can melt away holiday stress. Even a short 30 minute massage can refresh your body and mind.
  3. Take a hot bath. There’s nothing more relaxing than a long, hot soak in the tub. Light some candles, put on calming music and add Epsom salts or essential oils for luxury. The warm water will ease muscle tension and your racing mind.
  4. Spend time in nature. Getting outside and connecting with nature is proven to lower stress levels. Take a meditative walk in the woods, sit by a lake or spend time in a garden. Tune in to the sights, sounds and smells around you.
  5. Read a good book. Curl up on the couch with a warm blanket and an engrossing novel. Reading transports your mind to a fictional world where you can set aside your daily concerns.
  6. Take a nap. Tuning in to your body’s need for rest is a simple way to recharge. Allow yourself to take afternoon naps without feeling guilty. Even a short power nap of 20 minutes can leave you feeling refreshed.
  7. Write in a journal. Spend some quiet time journaling about your thoughts, feelings and holiday experiences. The act of writing things down is therapeutic and helps process emotions.
  8. Exercise gently. While intense workouts have their place, lighter exercise is ideal for relaxation. Try restorative yoga, tai chi, Pilates or simply going for a walk to get endorphins flowing.
  9. Listen to music. Create a relaxing playlist of your favorite soothing melodies. Tune into the healing qualities of music to release stress. You can even look up specific relaxation playlists on streaming platforms.
  10. Do easy arts and crafts. Slow down your mind by doing simple creative projects like coloring, knitting, painting or collaging. The repetitive motions are meditative.
  11. Take up baking or cooking. For some people, time spent creating in the kitchen is therapeutic. Bake cookies, bread or pies and infuse the process with mindfulness.
  12. Watch funny movies. Laughter truly is great medicine when you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed. Watching a lighthearted comedy lifts your mood and gives your mind a break from brooding.

This holiday season, give yourself the gift of relaxation. Build in small daily practices as well as longer periods of rejuvenation. Your mind, body and spirit will thank you!

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