How to reduce stress this holiday season
As we move into the holiday season, we know you’ve all got a lot going on. So we thought we’d offer these useful tips for maintaining balance and joy throughout the busy holiday season. Let’s make the best of it, deck the halls, and enjoy the surprises that this time of year always brings.
Fa la laugh it off!
Humour is your best friend, even in the midst of holiday chaos. Okay so you burned the roast chicken, lit part of the curtain on fire when you lit the menorah, lost the decoration you wanted to put on the top of the tree, or called your son’s new girlfriend Cathy instead of Bethany. It happens! The more you can laugh at the little things that go wrong, the more space you’ll have to enjoy time with family and friends. What really matters is the time we have with those we love, and the memories we make together.
This might seem counter-intuitive; who needs another thing to do this holiday season! But this isn’t necessarily about big actions, but more about the kindness and generosity we all show each other at this time of year. Research shows that people who are actively giving time, money or energy to others experience more happiness and are more likely to feel a sense of optimism or meaning. This doesn’t mean you need to volunteer extensively if you’re tight on time –– but it could mean remembering that there are many people in need this holiday season.
Some ways to give back:
- Think about your neighbours, friends, and people you see every day at the corner store or at your kid’s school. Is there anyone who needs practical help? Could someone use a meal or a compliiment? Offering a ride, taking time to listen to someone’s concerns, or just texting to say you’re thinking of someone alone for the holidays can bring a sense of the remembrance that we’re all in this together.
- We’re running several initiatives this season in our clinic to give back. This December we’re starting it off with a special gift basket draw where you’ll have a chance to enter the draw to win with a donation to your favourite charity. If you’re in the clinic this December, this is a great way to participate and give back to a cause you care about –– and possibly win big in the process!
- Clothing drives and food drives are often ongoing in local communities, and donations at Christmas time are often especially welcome. Look up your local food bank or shelters and ask what items they’re in need of. We’ll be accepting canned food/dry food donations until December 14th in the clinic if you want to donate to a Kitchener cause.
Even if you don’t feel like it, getting out into that frosty air can boost circulations, ease up sore muscles, and encourage deep breaths that calm our nervous system. Dr. Shenker recommends getting out on the trails for a bike ride or a walk. After a long week of surgeries, he loves to de-stress by playing with his dog in the nearby forest or enjoying the endorphins that come from a trail ride on his bike.
Take time for self-care rituals
Many of us spend the holidays making them special for those we love. Whether you’re baking, shopping, working, or actively involved at your temple or church, make sure you’re also checking in with yourself. Holidays are times that can bring up all kinds of memories, including those that involve grief or stress or mean we need a bit of extra rest.
Some ideas for a quick reset:
- Spending time with family? Carve out you-time with a tea before everyone wakes up where you write down any feelings or worries in a notebook. Not an early riser? A glass of wine at night with your favourite funny show will do the trick too.
- A bubble bath can do wonders. Throw in some epsom salts and a drop of lavender essential oil.
- The rhythm of a walk around the block without your phone can help you tune in and say “hey, how am I doing?” to make sure that you’re taking care of your needs and breathing out after your mom gives that disapproving look at the way you’ve set the table, or your uncle starts up on a story about your ex boyfriend in high school.
- Pick up a book you’ve been meaning to read, or take time to make the perfect cup of coffee.
- Plan something you’re excited for, for the coming year. Explore surgical plans, book a vacation, or write down a list of goals you dream of achieving.
Spending the holidays without family or friends this year?
Solo holidays are a special challenge but they can also be a cozy time of joy. Your self-care might involve seeking out connection with others. Look for local choral events, Christmas tree lightings, go to a movie to hear others laugh alongside you, or attend a religious ceremony at a nearby temple, church, or mosque. Check out what your local community is organizing! Craft fairs can be a fun place to find gifts and activities like baking cookies from childhood can be meaningful.
Speaking of self care: may we recommend a great skincare routine?
There’s something beautiful about a skincare ritual that you do every day, and there’s the added joy of noticing your skin improve over time with the right recommended serums, moisturizers, or cleansers. Our Beauty Nurse team can help you choose products that make you feel and look great. You can shop by brand or solution in our online store! This is a great one-stop-shop for gifts as well.
Remove unnecessary tasks
Stressed about all the Christmas decorations you planned to put up? Maybe a simple strand or lights will do this year! Got a list that you feel overwhelmed by? Try delegating or asking guests or family to bring something instead. Could someone pick up firewood on their way instead of you going to get it yourself?
TCSC Tip: Simplify your shopping!
We offer gift cards in varying amounts so you can give the gift of medical-grade skincare, beautifying treatments, or procedures. Do your shopping in one place to minimize stress and check off several boxes with one purchase.
Deep breathing, meditation, or calming self talk
This one sounds obvious, but counting to ten with deep breaths, in and out, tells your nervous system, “Hey, it’s okay! We’ve got this.” As you breathe, notice your surroundings and focus on anything beautiful or good. If you’re sitting in traffic, try looking at the people around you in other cars and remember that they’re all just like you – trying to get their shopping done, stuck in the snowstorm, wishing things would move along. Lineups or traffic jams are a great chance to try some deep breathing.
Notice what is beautiful
The chaos of the holidays can make us so focused on making it perfect that we don’t pause to enjoy each moment. Notice how delicious a cookie is, the way your kids interact with each other, the moments of kindness strangers show, the beauty of the light as it falls on the snow or ice, the refreshing cold air and how your breath hangs in the air, and the moment that is happening, right now. All that holiday planning is worth nothing if we don’t pause to enjoy! A sense of awe will calm your nerves and the grinch won’t stand a chance!
Happy Holidays from all of us at The Cosmetic Surgery Clinic.
You are a big part of what made this such a special year for us. Thanks for being part of our community and entrusting us with your aesthetic journeys. Cheers to a healthy, prosperous, joyous 2023!