We think of the holidays as a time of joy and excitement. Or at least, that’s how the holiday season is so often portrayed. The decorations, the colors and lights, the time spent with family and friends—the months of November and December are known for being exceptionally eventful and busy.
But there’s a part of the holidays that is rarely—if ever—addressed. Sometimes these lights and songs and stimuli can be a bit much, and lead to feeling overwhelmed. In fact, CNN reports that “You have a greater chance of dying on Christmas, the day after Christmas or New Year’s Day than any other single day of the year.” Scientists aren’t exactly sure why this is, but we know that there’s a significant spike in the number of deaths around the holidays, and there might be a correlation with added stress.
At Wicked Sense, we are all about you enjoying life, and making an effort to devote time to yourself. We know that the holidays can be stressful, which is why we’ve created a list of ways to soothe your soul when the holiday season starts to speed up. Keep informed with some ways to relax and unwind throughout the holidays, and order from our online candle store today!
Meditate and slow your breathing.
Our thoughts can be racing throughout the holidays—where are we spending them? Will we have a place to go? What gifts should we get for loved ones? Can we even afford those gifts? The number of questions and thoughts we have during this time are unique to the season itself, and can exponentially increase as the holidays approach.
One of the greatest things we can learn to do is to slow everything down, especially in times that our thoughts and worries seem to pick up. If you haven’t taken a yoga class, now might be a great time to get involved—classes usually cover some excellent meditative and restorative practices that can be easily implemented outside the studio. Sometimes these classes can be expensive, but checking Groupon or individual studios for deals or free first classes can be a great way to try it out.
For a quick breathing technique to practice when you feel a bit stressed, sit on the ground with a straight and tall back, or lay on the ground on your back, with arms down at your side and palms facing upwards. Practice inhaling to the count of six, through your nose, and then exhaling the same way. Eventually up it to an eight count, and breathe in stillness for at least a minute.
Focus on the important things.
A lot of the holidays can be filled with expectation and anticipation. Travel expenses, spending money on gifts, hosting events and cooking for tons of people—all of these things and responsibilities that need completing can start to feel overwhelming. One of the best things to do when everything seems to be piling up is to take a step back.
The presents under the tree, the stockings that are stuffed, the perfectly prepared meals—these can be considered important, but they pale in comparison to spending quality time with the ones you love. Advertising and the media can make it seem like the aforementioned items are the most important things, but the holiday memories that will resonate relate back to how a person feels, not what they received (or did not). When you start to feel overwhelmed, back everything up, and refocus on the people you love—including yourself.
Learn when to step away.
We live in a culture that often feels very focused on being busy, surrounding yourself with people, and running in a near-constant state of energy. Just within the past few years, we’ve started developing words like “self-care” to express our need to slow down and take care of ourselves. You might not always get a chance to take an amazing bubble bath or curl up with a great book whenever you want, but even just understanding when you need time for yourself is a hugely beneficial tool in calming down.
If that one uncle starts saying some politically-charged things or your aunts keep pestering you to find out why you’re still working at a cafe, it’s more than OK to take five or so minutes to yourself and step away. Even if you’ve just been surrounded by people for hours on end and need some down time, you completely deserve a moment to yourself.
Find a quiet spot where you can just exist for a few minutes. Practice some breathing techniques, take a second to check your phone (though you might find yourself even more relaxed the less stimulated you are), and make your way back into the throes of people when you’re ready. When you do this routinely, you could feel significantly more relaxed and at ease for longer periods of time, versus pushing yourself to the limits until you reach your breaking point.
Make time for yourself to unwind.
Whereas we often need to take a minute for ourselves in the moment, one of the best ways to continue feeling calm during the holidays is to be preventative. Far too often, we find ourselves burning the candle at both ends, trying to get everything done and seeing everyone possible. This can lead to an inevitable crash and burn, which can not only affect you, but those around you as well.
Commit to making some time for yourself, and don’t be afraid to advocate for your time. If you need 20 minutes to write in a journal or light some incense or take a walk, make this space for yourself happen. It can be really challenging to prioritize yourself, but remind yourself that when you’re not at your best, you’re not fully able to be there for others, either.
In our next blog, we’ll cover some very specific methods that you can take to alleviate some of the stress and craziness of the holidays. The seasons of tidings and great joy can simultaneously feel taxing and overwhelming. With these beginner tips on calming down and maintaining some semblance of stability over the holidays, you’ll be well on your way to enjoying and embracing all that they can bring.
In the meantime, shop our online candle store to find some scents and aromatic experiences that are sure to help you stay calm, cool, and collected this season. Whether purchasing as a gift for yourself or a loved one, buying our odor eliminating candles and stick incense for the holidays is a decision that only makes Wicked Sense.