The holidays are magical, but they can also be manic. Parties, plays, gifts, traveling and lots of extra family time can leave us feeling drained.
(It’s okay, we can say that.)
We look forward to this season all year long, but if we’re honest, a little part of us dreads it too. While some are singing “It’s the most wonderful time of the year” others are taking deep breaths through brown paper bags and thinking through gift lists, calendar and budget. And no, we’re not just talking about your financial budget, but your emotional budget. (Yes, this is a thing).
Just like you spend money from your bank account, you can spend emotional energy from your emotional bank account.
Slow down and meditate. – Goldie Hawn
“People talk about the brain weakening as it ages. Mine feels stronger. Meditation thickens the cortex, where we make decisions, analyze, feel more connected to others and dream,” Goldie Hawn told AARP Magazine in a recent interview.
“It’s essential to take time to breathe or spend a few minutes in nature away from phones and computers. You start to live for now, rather than for what’s next or, worse, waiting for the end to come. Slow down. Enjoy this ride. It’s all we’ve got.”
Goldie Hawn believes so much in mental health and self-care that she created the Hawn Foundation and “Mind Up” to help children create greater brain health through mindfulness practices.
“Mindfulness can help people of any age. That’s because we become what we think. If you have a negative thought — “I can’t stand my boss” — it perpetuates a negative worldview. But if you supplant each negative thought with three positive ones, you begin to restructure your brain.”
(P.S. See Goldie’ sneaky guest appearance in the new Netflix film, “Christmas Chronicles.”)
Take time to care of yourself. – Jennifer Lopez
“As women, we tend to give away a lot. We take care of a lot of people, and we can’t forget to take care of ourselves,” Jennifer Lopez told Redbook. “Go off without the kids or without anybody and just go shoe shopping — well, that’s me, because I love shoes — or get a facial even if your sister thinks that’s selfish, or join a Zumba class, or take a painting class, or whatever, you’ve just got to do it.”
Self-care is not selfish. Please take a moment to read that again, out loud. Don’t neglect yourself this season. Pour time and energy into yourself, not just others. Remember, taking time to care for yourself first gives you the energy to love others.
Go for a workout or listen to some music. – Michelle Obama
“Exercise is really important to me — it’s therapeutic. So, if I’m ever feeling tense or stressed or like I’m about to have a meltdown, I’ll put on my iPod and head to the gym or out on a bike ride,” Michelle Obama, former first lady, told Marie Claire.
As First Lady of the United States for eight years, a Princeton-graduate, lawyer and now author, Michelle is no stranger to stress. In her new book, “Becoming,” Michelle shares how’s she’s navigated school, politics, marriage, infertility, family, sexism, racism, parenting, and everything else while staying sane.
(Hint: this book is full of great stress-relief tips and real-life experiences.)
Get enough sleep and don’t be pressured by yourself. – Arianna Huffington
“There is that special glow after a good night’s sleep when you feel really in the zone. You feel like ‘Bring it on — you know I can handle anything!” Arianna Huffington, founder, president and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post, told CNN.
Arianna believes in stress relief so much that she created a special lifestyle section in The Huffington Post dedicated to health, wellness and stress relief.
“I think especially as women we need to recognize that feeling pressure is completely self-imposed. We women suffer more than men what I call the obnoxious roommate living in our head, which is that critical voice that constantly judges us, according to which we are never good enough.”
Dance away the stress. – Kate Hudson
“Dancing is the thing for me,” Kate Hudson told SELF magazine. “It just makes me feel so much better. You know how you see dancers always crying? It’s like reconnecting with an old self. Sometimes I’ll lock myself in a room and dance. I’ll turn music on as loud as possible and just get weird!”
Whether it’s jazz or pop, classical or rap, just make sure you listen to something you like. Something that helps you calm down or rock out and release the stress.
Read, meditate and pray to stay grounded. – Jada Pinkett Smith
“I do a lot of reading, meditating, and praying to stay as grounded as I can be in this crazy world,” Jada told Women’s Health. “When I hear my own negative voice, I usually just give it a big old hug. I ask myself, ‘What are you afraid of?’ I don’t have difficulty confronting my fear anymore.”
In Jada’s newest show (Red Table Talk) she opens up about life experiences that have challenged her and shaped her (even her V Treatment). And, more importantly, how she’s learned to deal with the stress in a healthy way.
Don’t worry too much. – Sandra Bullock
“I wish I could go back and tell myself to not worry so much. I wasted so much time with worry. I wish I could get it back,” Sandra Bullock told People. “Worrying used to be very paralyzing for me, and now I can talk myself off the ledge. Louis [her son] is the one who snapped me out of it.”
It’s easy to say, “don’t worry,” but hard to implement. Sandra’s honesty about her struggle with worrying touches us all. It’s easy around the holidays to worry about buying the perfect gifts or family dynamics or traveling. But, worrying can take us away from enjoying time with loved ones and being in the moment.
Here are some science-backed tips to help you stop worrying.
Tying it all together
Hopefully you can relate and implement one or more of those tips! Yes, those women are famous and may have more resources and/or money than we do (and maybe a personal chef and trainer*sigh*) but guess what? They are human—just like us. They get stressed around the holidays—just like us.