Does this sound familiar?
Every holiday season, you find yourself buried under an avalanche of To-Do Lists and schedules. Celebrations meant to be festive occasions become overwhelming obligations.
Somewhere, around the middle of December, you find that you have turned into the most dreaded of seasonal creatures:
The Holiday Martyr.
Don't let this happen to you!
Do what I do and schedule an all-important day off.
A Holiday from the Holidays, if you will.
It may seem that personal time is an impossible luxury at this time of year. But intentionally taking a break in the action may allow you to actually enjoy the holiday celebrations that you've worked so hard to create.
Here are my Top Stress Reducers for the Holiday Season.
Try one or two; you'll be glad you did.
Enjoy a Spa Day.
It's OK to give yourself a gift during the holidays and The Spa at The Island Hotel in Fashion Island is the perfect place to escape for an afternoon of seasonal bliss. Try a Hoiday Aromatherapy massage with hazelnut, clove and macadamia oils. Maybe a Peppermint Reflexology Treatment for your aching feet. A few hours of relaxation can refresh and recharge you for more holiday fun.
Get Some Fresh Air
If there's one thing that the City of Irvine has in abundance, it's open space trails. This collection of pathways and parks meander throughout each community. Exploring one of these trails is a healthy and economical way to battle holiday stress.
Give to Others
It's true. There's no better way to change your mood from sour to sweet than to give to others. Families Forward is a local Irvine charitable organization that supports families in crisis throughout the year. At the holidays, they sponsor the Adopt a Family Program, where you can make the holidays brighter with donated presents, gas or gift cards.
Deep, Cleansing Breaths
Exercise is important all year long, but an hour long, stress-busting yoga class can be a lifesaver during the holidays. Try a class at L.A. Fitness. Not a member? You can try a guest pass for the day and check it out.
Go ahead. You can do it. Power down your cell phone for an afternoon. Abandon your IPad. Take a few hours and escape the online madness and do something revolutionary; like read a book. The world will survive without you while you push your own personal reset button.
Be A Tourist in Your Own Town
Irvine is located smack-dab in the middle of one of the most popular vacation destinations in the country. Orange County boasts a wealth of delightful day trips that would tempt any freezing East Coaster to jump on a plane. Avoid some of the busier spots and enjoy a quiet walk on the beach at Crystal Cove, or visit Santa himself at Irvine Regional Park.
It may seem like the simplest of things, yet it's easy to forget. In the middle of holiday bustle, take intentional time to remember your blessings. The season is full of reminders of how lucky we are, we only have to choose to see them. A stack of Christmas cards to mail means lots of good friends. Boxes of decorations mean a home to make beautiful. Piles of presents to wrap mean loved ones around for the holidays.