There are many reasons you may experience holiday stress. For some, the holidays may be a memory of happier times with loved ones who are no longer with us. Others struggle with the pressures put on us by society to buy the latest, newest and most expensive gadgets. Then there’s hearing Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You” a million times per day. All of these issues can make the holidays a bit tense for some. Here are ten tips for coping with the season and beating holiday stress, and how using CBD for stress may help.
1. Realize Where The Holiday Stress Comes From
Sometimes the holiday stress we feel is self-inflicted. The holiday season is an easy scapegoat for taking out your frustrations. Perhaps you are unhappy with your job, love life or living situation. The holidays may be an easy excuse for you to complain out loud.
In day-to-day life, you probably can’t rant about your love or financial woes. You may be projecting that anger into something that many others can empathize with, such as the holidays.
After all, the holidays aren’t just an inconvenience for you. Other people experience holiday stress, too. Sometimes, bemoaning the holidays gives you a common ground to express your negativity with others.
While this could be an unlikely bonding ritual, it’s not the healthiest way to cope. Masking your issues as “holiday stress” isn’t going to make these problems go away. You may even want to consult a therapist about what’s triggering your holiday stress. They can help you find healthier ways to deal with your stress.
2. Embrace the Holidays
You know the old saying. “If you can’t beat them, join them.” If Ebenezer Scrooge was able to get over his grinchy ways, you can too.
When the holiday season kicks into full gear, it’s hard to get away from it. From decorations on every storefront to music on the radio to children asking for presents, you can’t hide from the spirit of the season. Instead of wearing yourself out by fighting the holidays, just go with the flow.
Find ways to make the holidays more fun for you. Try making homemade decorations with the little ones in your life. Pick a new holiday cookie recipe from the internet and get to baking. Go to a holiday concert played by a local symphony. All of these positive experiences may change how you feel about the season.
During the holiday season, there is no shortage of activities that allow you to interact with your friends, coworkers and neighbors. You just need to put yourself out there. Seeing joy in others can be infectious and might just be the cure for your holiday stress.
3. Learn About Traditions
The end of the year is a culmination of many celebrations worldwide. Holidays take place all across the globe from the end of November until the beginning of February. If you’re tired of the same old song and dance every year, why not learn about some of the customs and traditions that other cultures enjoy?
Some winter holidays include:
- Mawlid el-Nabi
- Three Kings Day
- St. Lucia Day
- Winter Solstice
- Rohatsu (Bodhi Day)
- Mardi Gras
When you learn about other cultures, it broadens your horizons. In fact, education may create a welcome escape for a busy mind. By enriching your brain, you can leave your stress behind while you are engrossed in the traditions of others.
In the same breath, you don’t need to learn about other countries or faiths to combat holiday stress. You can also do a little research into your own background. Not many of us can honestly say we know how the holidays we celebrate were founded — digging into this type of research may give you a whole new appreciation for the holiday you already observe.
4. Get Sleep
Holiday stress can cause us to stay up at night and worry, but missing out on sleep isn’t going to help you come up with a plan to solve your problems. It’s only going to make things worse.
Our body needs sleep to repair the wear and tear we put on it during our day-to-day routines. The last thing our body needs is our mind interrupting it with chatter about holiday stress.
When we are under stress, our body secretes cortisol. When there is too much of this hormone in our system, it leaves little room to produce the hormone that regulates sleep, melatonin.
One way to help support your sleep patterns is by using CBD. Joy Organics CBD Softgels with Melatonin are made with ingredients to support your sleep cycle. We use nanoemulsion technology for our softgels to create the smallest CBD particles on the market, which makes it easier for your body to absorb the cannabinoids. With this formula, you can sleep the holiday stress away.
5. Essential Oils
Essential oils are an all-natural way to support yourself through the holiday blues. For centuries, many people have used aromatherapy as a way to soothe escalating emotions.
The power of scent is surprisingly strong. Smelling your grandma’s latkes can transport you back to your childhood. The smell of fresh pine may help you reminisce about picking out a Christmas tree with your siblings. We all have unique experiences during the holiday season and our sense of smell plays a big role in how we react to them.
An excellent way to practice self-care this holiday season is by changing the conversation going on in your nose. If the cinnamon candles in the stores are too much or your co-workers went overboard with the pine spray on the office tree, try using some essential oils to soothe yourself.
There are many non-holiday essential oil scents that can help you through holiday stress, including:
- Tea tree oil
As we discussed earlier, sometimes it’s better to look at your problems head-on. Some essential oils may transport you into the holiday spirit if you’re willing to give it a shot.
Some excellent essential oils to put in your diffuser this holiday season include:
- Cinnamon bark
- Clove bud
- Clary sage
If you don’t have a diffuser, you can just waft them from the bottle. This method is a wonderful way to fight off holiday stress on the go. You can add some to your bathwater, shampoo or lotion as well.
6. Take a Bath
Soaking in a hot bath is the ultimate form of self-care. For some, it’s the only time of day where you can close the door and be alone with your thoughts. At a time of the year when you’re under immense holiday stress, a bath can be much needed.
You can use CBD for stress along with essential oils when lounging in the tub. There are many CBD Bath Bombs out there that can help you melt stress away. Turn on some relaxing music, pour a glass of wine and relax with a CBD bath.
7. Do More of What You Love
Create a forcefield to protect yourself from holiday stress. Build this shield by doing more of what you love. How can you be stressed if you are with the people and things that genuinely make you smile? You don’t have time to dwell over the negative vibes the holidays bring when you surround yourself with more positive experiences.
8. Go Outside
We have stores in Colorado, Illinois, and Kansas, so we know that winter can be unbearably cold for some. Between your face stinging from chilly winds to horrible driving conditions in the snow, the weather can be a serious source of holiday stress, but you don’t have to let the bad weather win. There is no denying that we feel much better when we walk around in nature. So, layer up and go outside.
We’re not meant to be cooped up all day. Staying indoors all winter long makes us more likely to pig out on unhealthy foods, zone out on mindless television, and sit in positions for hours that do a number on our posture. All of these actions are a recipe for holiday stress.
Even if it’s only for a few minutes, bear the cold. Take deep breaths. Let the fresh air hit your face. You’ll feel refreshed.
9. Practice Mindfulness
The holidays can be quite overwhelming. Sometimes, you just need to turn off that noise and tune out for a little bit.
To combat holiday stress, don’t think about it. In fact, try not to think about anything at all. Pull up a meditation video on YouTube and give meditating a try.
We know it’s hard to sit there without your mind wandering, so ease yourself into the practice. Start with five minutes per day. Tack on an extra minute or two every couple of days. You’ll be blissed out in no time!
If meditation doesn’t work for you, you can always try yoga. Yoga is an amazing way to practice mindfulness because you become tuned into your body. With your breath guiding each pose, it gives your thinking mind a rest.
10. CBD for Stress
One of our favorite ways to combat holiday stress is CBD. CBD softgels are an easy way to support your system through the holiday season. Make them a part of your everyday routine along with brushing your teeth or making coffee.
Many CBD users love to take CBD tinctures when they’re on the go. This method comes in clutch when you’re out shopping or attending the office party you’ve been dreading. With one dropperful, you get all the benefits of the cannabinoids in our broad spectrum hemp extract.
We hope these 10 tips will be helpful to you as holiday season stress starts to kick in. Do you have another favorite way to decompress during December? Let us know in the comments below!
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Hannah Smith is Joy Organics Director of Communications. She is driven by her passion for providing clear and accessible wellness and CBD education. In 2015, she received her BA in Media, Culture and the Arts from The King’s College in New York City and before Joy Organics, worked as writer and photographer in the Middle East and North Africa. Her work has been featured on Forbes, Vice, Vox, Denver Post, and the Coloradoan.