Ten things you need to do STAT to de-stress during the holidays

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The holiday season is in full swing, and I’m sure that you’re feeling the burn. Little things that normally don’t get to you are suddenly magnified by the insane traffic, the deadlines to be rushed before the year closes, and the pressure of gifting just the right thing or organizing the perfect get-together for the people you love.

Stop and think for a moment though: are you enjoying yourself, at all? Or do you just want to get it over with? If you’re dangerously close to burning out (or have gotten to that point), here are a few tips on how to be relaxed and put the “merry” back to your Christmas! 

Decide how you want to feel at the end of the day. I read this advice from Lin Manuel-Miranda (creator of Hamilton). It’s easy to do: instead of listing down complex and often unattainable goals, visualize down how you want to feel at the end of the day, first thing in the morning. Do you want to be productive? At peace? Loved? Once you’ve decided, you can work your way towards it by completing those tasks that are aligned with your single goal. Everything else that doesn’t contribute to it can wait another day, at least.

Organize a small area of your life. Sometimes looking at the big picture - at all the things we need to do and be - chokes us up. Take control of at least one small part of your life by organizing your cabinet or makeup kit, or prettifying your desk. You just need to be reminded that you can handle anything that life throws your way!

Create a play list that gets you in the mood for the holidays. If it has to be all Jose Marie Chan, well, no one’s judging! I usually check if my favorite artists have a holiday album. Pre-made play lists are also convenient, so long as they contain music that perks you up.

Take 15 minutes to completely decompress from all your tasks. When the going gets tough, the tough gets to reading a book or watching their favorite show. It doesn’t hurt to take your mind off things by immersing yourself in a completely different world, even for just a few minutes a day.

Work on something that gives you joy. Hobbies serve to distract us from the hard things, so that we can recharge our will to succeed. Painting does that for me. Dreaming awake in color makes me so happy! If you have a free day or half day, attend to your hobbies - your sources of joy - first instead of rushing around like a headless chicken. You’ll always have it in you to create beautiful things.

Get time off from social media. Sometimes, seeing other people’s perfect lives on Facebook or Instagram makes us feel inadequate. You feel like you’re trying so hard, but why don’t you get that kind of life? Is it because you’re a failure? Stop. Just stop it. Photos of people’s vacations and parties are only a small fraction of their lives. Until you remember that, get off the Internet and focus on your own goals.

Find a scent that makes you happy. Many people underestimate the power of scent in improving their productivity and mood. If your home, work area, car, and skin smell fantastic, you’ll feel more relaxed and ready to face the day. I love creamy, milky scents during the holidays, something with vanilla. Silka’s new Skin Whitening Shea Butter Line smells particularly lovely! 

Take a long hot shower. Cleansing with a nicely-scented soap should revive you after a long day of shopping for gifts for your loved ones. If it has extra hydrating and whitening properties like the Silka Moisturizing Milk Soap With Avocado Oil then that’s just icing on the cake!

Hydrate your skin so the stress shows less. Stress shows on our skin, especially when we’re too busy to even remember to drink water. Dull skin that looks tired can easily be remedied with a good moisturizer that offers deep hydration. Try the Silka Skin Whitening Lotion with Shea Butter or the Silka Moisturizing Milk Lotion with Avocado Oil to bring your skin back to life, without the greasy feeling. It’s easy to love your skin again when it’s soft and bouncy! Taking the time to care for yourself can do so much for your self-confidence, especially since you’ll be meeting so many friends and family members in reunions.

Remember what really matters during the season: family. It’s not what’s on your wishlist. It’s not the grand holiday you’ve been planning throughout the year. If we focus on material things then we’ll never really be contented and grateful for what we already have. To be happy during the holidays, just remember that it’s that rare time of the year when our family is together and complete. Now isn’t that a merry thought?