5 Ways to Destress Before the Holiday Rush

The holidays are coming quickly, and it is a busy time for many. Before the holiday rush sets in, we have some ideas to help you relax and destress.

1 – Take “me time”

Take a minute for yourself to reflect, unwind and relax. This can be anything from setting aside some time to meditate, read a novel, or enjoy a relaxing bath. Pull out your favourite bubble bath, bath pillow and candles, and kick back and relax. Me time is a great way to destress anytime of year. Consider an aromatherapy diffuser with some essential oils or a salt lamp to add an extra layer of ambience for me time.

2 – Exercise

Exercise can help you detach from the overwhelming to do list. Get out and go for a run, take a bike ride, do yoga, or work out. All are great ways to help relax and reset your mind and body.

3 – Connect with nature

Going for a walk in the woods is a great way to reset. Be sure to turn your phone off, and take your time to observe the natural world around you.

4 – Prepare for the holidays ahead of time

Plan ahead for everything from Christmas shopping, to holiday baking. Making a timeline can dramatically reduce your stress level heading into the holiday season. Knowing who you need to shop for, and getting it done early gives you more time to enjoy the season. Planning your baking and cooking ensures you block out the time in the kitchen, and allows you to get all your ingredients well in advance.

5 – Unplug

Social media and the internet have dramatically changed our daily routines. It can add to your stress level by eating up your time, and taking away from the things you should be doing. Seeing everyone else holiday ready can also add to your anxiety about your  preparation. Set limits on your screen time, or plan unplugged periods where you disconnect from your devices.


Hopefully these tips helped you relax.


The Best Stretches You Can Do Right Now to Relieve Stress and Anxiety

We all know that exercise is good for our body, but it’s also good for our mind. In fact, our mental health is intrinsically linked to our physical health. So set yourself up a soothing environment, then slide into some easy yet powerful stretches that will stimulate happy hormones and lead to a calmer mindset.

Here are six steps to easy stretches you can do right now to relieve stress and anxiety.

Set up Your Healing Space

Before you jump into stretching, take a few minutes to set up your space. Research shows that certain environments can have a calming effect on our minds. Being out in nature is a sure bet, with fresh clean air and natural light. But you can also set up a beautiful indoor space and tap into the air purifying effects of salt lamps, aromatherapy diffusers, and scented candles.

Stretches for Stress and Anxiety

Release Endorphins with Sun Salutations

Don’t worry about not having enough time or energy for a full yoga workout. You can still get all the mind-clarifying benefits through a few Sun Salutations. Formally known as Surya Namaskar, this simple sequence is designed to build heat in the body and synchronize our breath with our movements.

A sun salutation is like a mini yoga workout in itself. It incorporates all major muscle groups and is just the right intensity to get your heart pumping and endorphins flowing. Endorphins interact with the receptors in your brain to reduce your perception of pain. Famous for creating the “runner’s high”, endorphins also trigger positive feelings that will energize your body and mood.

Stretches for Stress and Anxiety

Release Stored Tension with Hip Poses Like Pigeon and SaddleStretches for Stress and Anxiety

The key to releasing tension is to stretch parts of your body that hold deep tension, namely your hips, lower back, shoulders, and neck.

Pigeon and Saddle poses are a yoga stretches that get deep into your glutes and hip flexors. Hold the poses for 5 to 10 minutes each and they will create therapeutic effects similar to a deep tissue massage.

In our sedentary lifestyles, sitting muscles like glutes and hip flexors are especially prone to holding stored tension. Targeting these muscle groups will increase blood flow, helping to stimulate receptors in the nervous system, which decreases production of stress hormones.

Invert Yourself with Supported Shoulder Stand and Plow Pose

Sometimes you just need a different perspective on life, and there’s no better way to get it than flipping things upside down! Inverting our bodies has been shown to improve focus, balance, and brain function. It allows oxygen-rich blood to flow to your brain and helps reverse the effects of gravity.

Supported Shoulder Stand and its variation, Plow pose, are beginner inversions that don’t have the intimidating risk factors of headstands and handstands. They are fantastic full-spine stretches that will leave you feeling refreshed and ready for action.

Be Still with Child’s Pose and Corpse Pose

No stretching routine is complete without a few final minutes to come back to centre. Yoga poses are inherently reflective, but Child’s pose and Corpse pose are the culmination of that, allowing your body to return to its normal pulse, quiet the mind, and experience a restful moment of savasana. Tune into your breath and let it flow easily. Bring your mind back to your healing space, and accept whatever thoughts that come, letting them pass away.

Allowing ourselves time for stillness, presence, and meditation, gives a chance for deep feelings to surface. Strengthened by our stretches, we can witness our thoughts and let them pass without attachment. In this way, our stretching routines can help us become more resilient in daily life, restoring vitality to our bodies and minds.

Take a Bath with Epsom Salts

Maximize the effects of your stretching by drawing out the toxins released with an epsom salt bath. Epsom salts are high in magnesium and sulfates, promote better sleep, and will further alleviate any muscle soreness from released tension. Besides, you can revel in the relaxation you created for yourself and celebrate your new healing routine.

Stretches for Stress and Anxiety

For more tips on relieving stress and anxiety, check out our Health Topics library