How to De-Stress During the Holiday Season

I'm not going to lie to any of you, this year (and the past few months in particular) has been quite a doozy. I feel like it's been an emotional roller coaster between moving, starting a new job, the election and gearing up for the travel and madness that is the holiday season.

When I was growing up, my mom went all out for the holidays, and it was my favorite time of the year because of it. Everything was perfectly planned - from the gifts to the stockings, to the holiday meals and partiesNow that I'm grown, I incorporate so many of those traditions into my life in San Francisco with Josh.

I make Christmas lists and thoughtfully plan what I'm going to gift everyone in mid-November, and typically have all of my shopping done by the first week of December. I get a real tree, decorate it (and our house) to the nines, and have Christmas tunes on to cheer up the place. It reminds me of my childhood and it's so fun, but sometimes it can be too much going on.

Here are my tips for taking a minute and relaxing to de-stress this holiday season:

1. Turn off your screens.

Ironic, a bit, since I'm typing this on a computer while watching The Crown with my phone right next to me, but the first way I relax over the holidays is to just stop with all of the screen time (I promise when I'm done with this post I'm putting it all away!). I work in social media which means I'm on my computer and phone pretty much 24/7, but sometimes you just have to stop.

I try to give myself 30 minutes when I come home at the end of the day to catch up on emails, go through Twitter and even watch some funny Snapchats, and then I am trying to make it a goal to put the phone down, and spend some quality time cooking and eating dinner with Josh. After dinner, I try to get into bed and read an actual book (shocking, I know!) and it really lets me unwind.

2. Say no to things.

I'm not really one to get FOMO (I'm an introvert and most of the time would rather be with one or two people at home than at a big party) but as the holiday party & blog event invites come flowing in for the season, you have to choose what really matters to you, and what can fall by the wayside.

3. Rest up - and take care of yourself!

On the nights you're not heading out to a holiday party, take it upon yourself to get in bed early, do that face mask you've had in your drawer forever or slowly sip some tea on the couch. The more you rest up and take care of yourself, the better! We all know once you start traveling for the holidays and are staying in other people's homes or in hotels, you don't have much time to yourself. So take advantage of it while you can!

4. Don't forget about traditions.

I get so excited about Christmas traditions (just ask Josh - I think he's a bit tired of my holiday cheer, to be honest!) and they de-stress me so much. Taking time to go pick out a tree with your family, baking homemade cookies, making cider or addressing Christmas cards are all things that force me to slow down, remember what it is I love about this time of year and be thankful for everything I have.