Lori’s Favorite Ways
to Destress During the Holidays

It’s not always rosy cheeks and sugar cookie smiles during the holiday season, sometimes we end up unwrapping a lot of stress from Thanksgiving through New Year’s. I’m sure y’all have experienced your fair share of stressful moments during the holidays, whether you’re a perfectionist who needs to set the perfect tablescape or you’re a little controlling like my daughter Mollie (did I just say that?!) and need everything to just run like a well oiled machine. 

The reality of the holidays is that those special, family-bonding moments where the sweetest memories are made, comes often hand in hand with stress. If you’ve ever tried to wrangle two screaming toddlers, a tipsy husband, elderly parents, and siblings who are not speaking into a family photo on Christmas Eve, you know what I’m talking about.

I have had plenty of stressful holiday moments, both during the lead up to our family get-togethers and even on the way to Church. If you’ve ever hosted your family for days at a time, ran out of gas on the way to services, spilled a glass of eggnog on your light-colored couch, and mixed up the gifts for your family members, this blog post is for you!

Here are my favorite ways to destress during the holiday seasons:

  • Cookie baking with the kids and granddaughters – Now, I am definitely not a Michelin starred Chef in the kitchen, but baking Christmas cookies with my children and granddaughters is something I just love to do. I don’t worry about flour everywhere or cracked eggshell falling into the batter; my husband is really adept at cleaning up after we make our messes! Instead, I just enjoy the experience of it all.  We use an old family chocolate chip cookie recipe handed down from generation to generation, and then stay up late decorating cookies to leave out for Santa. Those precious moments with my kids and granddaughters are priceless; it allows me to just catch my breath and really appreciate the spirit of the holidays.
  • Good old fashion gabfest with Monte – Having a best friend get you through the holiday stress is a must! Sometimes, I just need to vent and gossip, and that’s when I’ll just put myself into a time out and give Monte a call. He usually has me in stitches within the first five minutes of our conversation, and that laughing just relaxes me and helps get me back into the holiday mindset.
  • Exercise –I make it a priority to stick to my daily exercise routine even during the holiday season, and not just because I want another serving of dessert! My daily walks with Chloe are also a great way to just take a breather and calm my mind. If you don’t already have an exercise routine that you love, get outside and move a little bit. Even a walk around the block would do you some good! Fill your lungs with fresh air and concentrate on breathing, let all that pent up stress go each time you exhale. I promise it will help you face your next holiday crisis without falling apart.
  • Pamper time – So many of us tend to neglect ourselves during the holiday season. It’s natural to put your family’s needs above your own, especially when you’re the one doing most of the hosting, cooking and prepping. I make myself a priority during the holiday season, too. I carve out time for myself and run a soothing bath with lots of bubbles and scented candles, schedule a relaxing massage, and get my pre-holiday facial and mani-pedi. Just taking an hour to myself is so beneficial!
  • Holiday Movies & Music – Surrounding myself with holiday music or movies helps keep the stress Grinch at bay. When I feel the pressure really pile on, I put on my favorite Country Christmas carols and sing along. I also make sure to have a Hallmark Holiday movie marathon with Mollie and the girls. We make sure we have plenty of popcorn and tissues and you’ll be amazed how a little crying can give you a much needed release!
  • Disconnecting from Social Media – I love social media; it helps keep me connected to my family, friends and fans! But I also can get sucked in, and before I know it I’ve wasted an hour scrolling my newsfeed.  To really keep me from getting social media stressed, I do my best to disconnect during the holidays and I encourage all my family to put their phones away too. Be present and in the moment, and remember that what you’re seeing on social media is not always the full picture.

What’s your favorite way to destress during the holiday season? Share with us in the comments!

Until next time,

Lori Allen