15 Ways to De-Stress During the Holidays

Turns out cookie-eating isn’t considered therapeutic.

Every year around this time, I start to feel the holiday stress creeping in. I always try my best to plan ahead, but procrastination runs deep in my blood. This year, I promised myself I’d fight the urge to stress and pursue peace, instead. If you’re a holiday stresser too, here are 15 ultra-practical ways to de-stress.

Check Out Aromatherapy

White Bathtub With Chrome Fixtures & Water Feature

Spa Bathtub With Waterfall Feature

This relaxing spa bathroom features a bathtub with chrome fixtures and a luxurious waterfall feature. A small glass shelf is positioned next to the tub, providing a convenient spot for bathroom essentials.

Photo by: Ciro Coelho

Ciro Coelho

Aromatherapy has become a well-known, all-natural means of relaxation, healing and stress relief. If you’ve yet to try it, now is the perfect time. Before you dive in, take some time to read our guide to all things aromatherapy. The essential oils rundown will help you decide which scents and mixtures might work best for you.

Make Your Own Essential Oils

Learn how to make your own essential oils with plants from your garden.

Make Your Own Essential Oils

Learn how to make your own essential oils with plants from your garden.

After you’ve schooled yourself on essential oils and selected some promising scents, try your hand at making them.

Burn Aromatherapy Bundles

Homemade Aromatherapy Bundles
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While you’re at it, make some aromatherapy bundles to throw in the fire. Double the aromatherapy means double the stress relief, right?

Make Your Own Exfoliating Scrub

Peppermint Exfoliating Scrub

Photo by: Liz Gray

Liz Gray

Just need a 30-second refresh? These three DIY scrubs boast tons of remedial qualities that are sure to revitalize you and your skin.

Take a Bath (with a Killer Bath Bomb)

DIY All-Natural Bath Bombs
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OK, maybe you’re thinking more like a 30-minute refresh? Add an all-natural bath bomb to a hot bath to help release tension after a long day.

Try a DIY Facial Mask

Honey Cinnamon Nutmeg Facial Mask

Honey-Cinnamon-Nutmeg Facial Mask

Made from the inner bark of Cinnamomum cassia, cinnamon has astringent properties. Used with honey and nutmeg in this facial mask, it helps make your skin glow.

Photo by: Courtesy of Storey Publishing / Photo by (c) Winnie Au

Courtesy of Storey Publishing / Photo by (c) Winnie Au

We all know stress can cause major breakouts. Show your troubled skin some love with this all-natural facial mask. Make it yourself with raw honey, cinnamon powder and nutmeg powder.

Revitalize Your Hands

DIY Herbal Lotion Bars

Herbal Lotion Bars

To use herbal lotion bars, rub between hands to slightly warm up the oils. Then rub liberally all over you hands, arms, feet and anywhere you have dry skin.

Photo by: Debbie Wolfe

Debbie Wolfe

Have endless tasks and chilly temperatures taken a toll on your hands? Give your hands a break, and heal those nagging cracks with our DIY herbal lotion bars.

Make Your Office Space Happier

4 Ways to De-stress at Work
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Do you spend working hours stressing about the holiday activities that await at home? Try adjusting your office environment to make it cheery and homey. If a desktop Christmas tree fills you with joy, by all means, go for it.

Try These Desk Yoga Stretches

Desk Yoga
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Maybe work is the root of your holiday stress. If that’s the case, try some of these yoga stretches at your desk.

Fuel Up With Energy Bites

Energy Bites 5 Ways
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Holiday shopping inevitably makes my husband hangry. The solution that works every time? Taking energy-packed snacks on all our shopping runs. Try it, seriously!

Let Dinner Be Lazy

Vegan Burrito Bowl

Easy, Healthy Dinner: Vegan Burrito Bowl

This better-for-you burrito bowl is bursting with spices and flavor. It’s made with brown rice, satiating protein from the tofu and black beans, and healthy fat from the avocado. This is a bowl that’s sure to fill you up, not fill you out! Get the recipe >>

Photo by: Kara Lydon, RD

Kara Lydon, RD

Throughout the holiday season, it’s just not possible to make time for everything, and sometimes the thing that has to go is the hour of dinner prep. Reduce stress by humbly accepting this and trying one of our super-simple dinner ideas.


Woman sleeping at home in bed

Woman sleeping at home in bed

Photo by: andresr


I probably don’t need to tell you this one, yet it’s arguably the most important item on the list. Rest! Rest your body, soul and mind. Spend peaceful, thoughtful time in silence. Not only will rest benefit you, but it will benefit the ones closest to you, as well.


Woman Jogging

Woman Jogging

Close up shot of a woman's running shoes outside.

Photo by: ©iStockphoto.com/FrancescoCorticchia


Spending five hours wrapping gifts can give you a backache, and spending three hours baking cookies can make your feet hurt. Don’t neglect your body just because you’re busy with holiday to-dos. Take time to exercise. Get outside, and enjoy the scents and sights of the season.

Focus on Quality Time

Adding to Christmas Tree Decorations

Adding to Christmas Tree Decorations

While your loved ones will undoubtedly appreciate material gifts, they’d probably appreciate spending quality time with you just as much. Try to remember this as you approach your shopping list. Think about gifting your time and love to family and friends.

Give Back

Holiday Clothing Drive

Holiday Clothing Drive

When the stress of the holidays completely overwhelms you, the best way to refocus and ground yourself is to look outside yourself. Seek opportunities to volunteer and help neighbors in need. Looking for ideas? Check out our helpful list.

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Not sure if you should start with the lights, the ornaments or the topper? Follow our step-by-step guide for the best way to trim your holiday tree.

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Snuggle up in one of these top-rated wraps.

Small Businesses We Love to Shop for Small Business Saturday

‘Tis the season to shop small and support local any chance you get.

The Best Stocking Stuffers Under $50 for Women

Show the ladies in your life how much you care with these thoughtful (and budget-friendly) stocking stuffer ideas.

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Find unique and thoughtful gifts for the bonus relatives on your list.

Go Shopping

Get product recommendations from HGTV editors, plus can’t-miss sales and deals.


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