It’s that time of year again—holiday season. Whatever you chose to celebrate (or not) one thing is for certain, life suddenly feels pretty stressful until January 1st. Between a jammed-packed party circuit, family engagements, and the pressure of finding the perfect present, there’s barely time to breathe—let alone unwind.

However, unwarranted stress can negatively take a toll on your mind, body and soul. But don’t panic, we have seven ways for you to avoid a meltdown. Read on to learn what our A-List team of experts suggests to help you maintain your zen.

Tip No.1: Stop, Drop, and Connect

Connect!

During the holidays, finding a moment to yourself is almost like finding a needle in an overpacked Goyard trunk. “If the environment you are in is chaotic, or high-stress, and your mind is following suit, take a moment to literally pull over to the sidelines,” advises MNDFL Meditation Teacher and Personal Development Coach, Adreanna Limbach. Even if you can’t slip away physically, you can mentally.

“Stop for a moment and feel all of the points where your body is making contact. Feel your feet on the ground, the texture of your clothes against your skin, perhaps even placing one hand on the belly (to feel the visceral sensation of the belly rising and falling with each breath). It might seem simple, and it is. That’s why it’s so effective—simplicity is the perfect antidote to chaos.”

Tip No. 2: Stretch It Out

Escaping the office for a few days typically means logging in some extra hours at your desk. “Ease neck and shoulder tension caused by the sitting in the same position by practicing per side to side neck stretches,” shares Rachel Weishaupt, Certified Massage Therapist (CMT) and Recruiter for Soothe.

“These can be performed solo by grasping the side of the head with opposite hand. For example take your right hand and reach up and over to grasp left side of head, and gently pull your head toward the right shoulder for a count of 15. Repeat on opposite side and combine with deep cleansing breaths.”

Tip No. 3: Squeeze in a Workout

Work it out!

Listen, we’d also rather indulge in snacks than squats, but don’t give up on your summer body just yet!

“There’s no doubt that the holiday season gets hectic, so plan ahead,” advises Megan Smyth Co-Founder and CEO of FitReserve. “If you can, try to get in a morning or lunchtime workout to leave your evenings open so that your social engagements don’t get in the way. Push-ups, squats, lunges and planks are all quick and effective moves that you can do anywhere without any equipment.”

If that’s not possible, Smyth suggests packing your gym bag with all of your essentials and plan a class at a studio with a shower before heading to your soiree. Short on time? “For really hectic days, choose a 30-minute HIIT class to maximize your workout in a shorter period of time.”

Tip No.4: Take A Load Off

Emotional baggage isn’t the only kind that can wear you down. “Carrying heavy shopping bags puts a lot of stress on shoulders, back, neck and other muscles,” Weishaupt reminds us. “Use a tennis ball to perform trigger point massage on sore and spasmed muscles.”

Trapping a tennis ball between the body and the floor, wall (or other stationary surface), applies direct but gentle pressure that can be applied to “knots” or trigger points anywhere in the body.

Tip No. 5: Find Clarity Anytime

The recipe to success is often tied to meditation, some of the most powerful people (think Russell Simmons, Oprah, Arianna Huffington, and many more) make time to practice turning their mind off. “When to meditate is a super common question, and really, a matter of personal flow,” shares Limbach. ”My one bit of advice here is that if you’re looking to establish a practice, be lovingly, ruthlessly honest with yourself about when you’ll be most likely to make the time.

“I prefer practicing in the morning when the day is fresh and my mind is clear, but If you know that your mornings are a mad-dash to get to work on time, the evenings may be more appropriate and supportive to your practice. Likewise, if your evenings are typically busy, try carving out 10 minutes when you first wake up.”

Tip No. 6: Head to the Bathroom

“Simply taking a bath can help reduce anxiety and stress caused by visiting family,” shares Weishaupt. “Just add 2 cups Epsom salt to a warm bath and soak for 15-20 minutes—add wine, candles and spa music for extra relief.”

The benefits go far beyond having a little personal time. “Epsom salt is a compound made of magnesium and sulfate. Magnesium raises serotonin levels in the brain, creating feelings of well-being and satisfaction, while sulfate provides pain relief and anti-inflammatory benefits to injuries. Together they work to draw out toxins associated with stress hormone production and cold and flu viruses.”

Tip No. 7: Practice Capturing Gratitude

Write it down

Happy, frustrated, or somewhere in between? Focus on the positive. “One technique I use was given to me by a dear friend who is a psychotherapist by profession. Her living motto is ‘Log That Sh*t,’ shares Limbach. “Meaning, when good things do happen, even in tiny and mundane ways, take a second to literally write it down. I’ve started a log in the ‘notes’ section of my iPhone.”
“We’re all conditioned by negativity bias — the biological imperative to remember the ‘bad’ stuff over the ‘good’ stuff, that kept our ancestors safe from danger,” continues Limbach. ‘Logging that Sh*t’ is a great practice for training ourselves to notice our blessings.his way, when I find myself fixating on whatever is stressing me out, I have a body of evidence that things really aren’t that bad and that good things are constantly happening. Even in tiny, forgettable ways.”

janellehickman

Janell Hickman is an unapologetic beauty girl! She has a deep penchant for bright lips, short hair cuts, flawless skin, and lush lashes. She writes for quite a few fab media outlets including Gilt.com and Doobop.com and she loves and lives in Brooklyn. Instagram: @Jmargaretbeauty