How to Relax and Enjoy a Stress Free Holiday

As we come up to the peak of this hectic season, we want to wish you (and your family!) a happy holidays. It can be hard to disconnect during such a busy time, but it is possible to relax and enjoy a stress free holiday. Here’s how you can do it.

Take some time to be alone.

While it’s great to spend time catching up with your family and loved ones, remember to schedule in some time to reset on your own. Why not try using this time to finally finish that book you’ve been meaning to read? If you don’t have one, here are 13 of the best new books of 2016 or maybe you’d prefer 8 awesome podcasts from this year.

There are also a ton of shows people have been freaking out about lately like West World, The Man in the High Castle, Good Girls Revolt, The Crown, Hand of God and Shut Eye if ‘Netflix and binge’ is more your thing.

Go for a walk.

There are so many benefits to getting outdoors and going for a walk. For starters, walking is a great way to clear your head, but it has also been proven to increase creativity. In San Francisco you can find moderately easy hikes among nature at Land’s End or in the Marin Headlands (bonus: both spots offer gorgeous views of the Golden Gate Bridge). Near DC, you can hop on the Billy Goat Trail for something more challenging or meander along the walking trails in Rock Creek Park.

But don’t worry, you don’t need access to hiking trails or nature to reap the benefits. Simply step outside and make a loop around the block or try a penny walk if you desire a little more spontaneity (a great game if you have little relatives in tow).

Spend time away from your phone.

Theoretically, you should have no need for your phone if you are spending the holidays with your family and loved ones. Realistically, though, it’s an entirely different story. You know your schedule best, so when time allows make the decision to spend a little less time looking at your phone screen and a little more time soaking in the people around you.

While there are all sorts of apps and tips for breaking up with your phone, it’s way easier than that. Simply switch your phone over to airplane mode (or do not disturb mode!) and tuck it away in your coat pocket, your purse or a back room.

Recognize your bandwidth and adjust your plans as needed.

Have you ever asked yourself, “At what point did the holidays become more hectic than work?” It seems like juggling meals, guests and holiday plans has become a second job. While it feels negative, sometimes saying no (to that invitation from a friend you haven’t seen in awhile), is the best way to make room in your life to enjoy the things you really want to do this holiday. It boils down to the old ‘quality over quantity’ adage.

Eat a healthy meal.

Even if your diet is 99% candy, candy canes, candy corn and syrup this season, your body will thank you for squeezing in some delicious healthy meals to balance all that sugar. This arugula, dried cherry and wild rice salad is always a hit (we’re talking people coming back for seconds and leftovers on the off chance that anything is left). These braised carrots are shockingly addictive. And lastly, this spinach sheet pan quiche is a hearty way to kick off the day or perfect for bringing to a potluck.


As it turns out, 1 in 3 American adults are sleep deprived. This holiday season, instead of adding to the problem, use the break as a chance to get some well-deserved rest. Push your schedule back in the morning, or even duck out of your holiday parties a little early. (You know you’re adulting when going to bed early sounds like a treat!) If you struggle to get to bed, here’s a funny way to help you fall asleep.

Make sure any travel plans are well thought out.

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again. The holidays are a crazy time of year for travel! If you are traveling, make sure you have solid travel plans in place. Here are 6 ways to survive your holiday flights.

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