Recipe for a stress-free holiday:
1 cup on-time departure
1 tbsp calorie-free meals
¼ cup well-behaved children
2 tsp time for yourself
Mix and serve
If we’re being honest, there’s no such thing as a stress-free holiday season. Whether you’re staying home and hosting, traveling across the country, or avoiding the season altogether, everyone is bound to feel a dose of stress—or anxiety or guilt or loneliness—this time of year. At the very least, the holidays are a disruption to our regular routine—and for many, going off-script equals stress. Instead of striving for perfection this year, aim for self-care. Here are five ways to find balance during the holidays.
Travel on the Holidays
According to our friends at Hipmunk, flying on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day are the least busy days for travel during the holiday season. Shorter lines at security and fewer passengers on flights will make the experience of getting to your destination much more enjoyable. Plus, traveling on the holidays is also the most affordable time to fly. For instance, flying on Thanksgiving Day saves travelers an average of 12 percent versus departing Wednesday, the most-booked departure date, according to Hipmunk data.
Stick to Your Workout Routine
Speaking of traveling over the holidays, did you know that getting a high-intensity workout in on the day of your scheduled flight helps get more oxygen into your brain and releases endorphins? Doing so will help combat travel-related stress as well as the negative effects of sitting for long stretches of time on a plane. Once you’re on the ground, plan some me-time to help manage your stress levels leading up to the holidays. Peloton, the at-home cycling workout, streams via their app so you can get a sweat session in wherever you are. Plus, their workouts aren’t just designed to click into a stationary bike anymore. Members can choose from a variety of workouts, including running, bootcamp, yoga, and more.
Prefer a more social approach to fitness? Try a group workout like Orangetheory Fitness. OTF members can book classes through the app at more than 1,000 studios around the world.
Prepare for Remote Work
This holiday season, give yourself the gift of Trello—an app to help you organize (and prioritize!) your work, side gig, holiday shopping lists, and everything in between. The tool is built for collaboration, so whether you’re in the office or working from your in-laws’, you and your team can coordinate on every ongoing project, on-the-go.
As you’re creating your holiday packing list (eh-hem, in Trello), be sure to leave room in your suitcase for your work-related gadgets. Items like a power bank or electronics charger, an external mouse and keyboard, or maybe even a laptop stand might make the list of travel essentials, especially if you’re a freelancer with no set vacation time during the holiday season.
Remember to Say No
… so that you can say yes to what’s most important. Saying no to a holiday party invite means saying yes to catching up on your sleep. Saying no to a glass of wine tonight means saying yes to an early morning Orangetheory class tomorrow. Saying no to a last-minute client project means saying yes to hanging with your nieces and nephews you haven’t seen since last Thanksgiving. You get the idea. Prioritizing what’s most important to you over the holidays will help keep stress at bay. There will be plenty of invites, bottles of wine, and projects in the new year.
Plan a Vacation for January
Reason one: Doing so gives you a trip to look forward to during the hectic holiday season. Reason two: January is historically one of the cheapest times of the year to travel. And, since you took our advice and traveled on the holidays, you’ll have saved enough to avoid inducing any further stress—financial or otherwise. So, whether you’re ready to hit the slopes of Colorado or decompress at the spa in Palm Springs, January is the time to do it.