Five Ways To Dial Down The Holiday Stress

With all the legitimate good things that come with the holidays — family time, parties, gift giving, holiday songs and movies, decorations, visions of sugarplums — generally comes stress, too. Making all these great things happen requires time, money, sometimes travel, and many other logistics that can create some serious angst if you don’t figure out how to manage it. Following these tips can help you eliminate much of your stress from the holidays, and actually enjoy it all.

 1.    Plan & Organize. Make a master list of all the things you have to do during the holiday season — even things that aren’t holiday related. That means everything from shopping, to having a manicure, to getting your oil changed, to attending your kid’s pageant, to doing laundry. Then go through your calendar for the upcoming month and block off the time for each of those tasks, removing them from your master list once they’re scheduled onto your calendar. Seeing it all planned out like this answers the question “how will I get it all done?” and removes the anxiety generated by a big bunch of obligations looming ahead.

 2.    Take Care of your Bod. Getting sick throws a huge monkey wrench in your planning, so achieving #1 (above) requires that you adhere to #2. When you make your holiday master list, schedule regular exercise sessions, and budget time to go to the grocery store to stock up on healthy foods along with your cookie ingredients and egg nog. Carry a water bottle in your bag at all times so you stay hydrated. Also, don’t forget to stash healthy snacks, such as packets of almonds or granola bars, in your purse or car. When you’re running a million errands every day, it’s easy to become suddenly starving and start eyeing fast food. Schedule nothing past 9 p.m. every day, so you can get enough sleep.

 3.    Book Appointments & Reservations Now. We always recommend that our guests pre-book their Douglas J salon visits to ensure they always get their preferred time and service provider. Pre-booking is never more important than during the holiday season. This goes not only for the salon, but for everything else for which an appointment or reservation can be made — the dog groomer, the eye doctor, restaurants, etc. Even if you can walk in and be seen somewhere at every other time of the year, chances are they’re just as busy as you are now. The rule of thumb is: if you CAN book an appointment for something now, DO. (Click here to schedule your Douglas J salon appointment now!)

 4.    Think Quality Gifts, Not Quantity. Instead of buying someone a slew of gifts, get just one or two high-quality, well-chosen items or experiences that mean more. A great example of this would be spa treatments that show the recipient that: a) you know how hard they work and how stressed they can get, and b) you want them to relax and enjoy some much-needed “me time.” (This is especially welcome around the holidays!)

Other good examples are: tickets to a concert, play, or sports event, dinner at a restaurant they love, or a “staycation” weekend in a fabulous hotel. Not only do these well-chosen gifts demonstrate your thoughtfulness, but many (like Douglas J spa gift cards) can be conveniently purchased online.

Gifting with an eye toward quality, not quantity frees up your shopping time (and stress) and makes them feel appreciated, understood, and cared for.

 5.    Prepare For The Unexpected. It happens every year: someone shows up out of the blue with a gift for you, and you … uhhhhh … didn’t exactly shop for them. Or, you’re invited to a gathering at the last minute and don’t have time to stop for a hostess gift. Keep a trove of emergency presents on hand that, if ungifted, you can use yourself after the holidays or give to others later. Aveda Holiday Gift Sets are pretty much perfect for this situation: they’re high-quality, always welcome, hit different price points, and so thoughtful that no one would guess you didn’t choose it especially with them in mind.

Our favorites for this type of situation: the “Gift of Peace and Light” (above), a Shampure™-scented soy wax candle that burns for 50+ hours; “Feeling Calm is a Gift,” the limited-edition Shampure-scented Hand Relief™ in salon and travel sizes; and “A Gift of Smiles,” two nourishing Aveda lip glazes in limited-edition shades. All gifts come hand-wrapped in beautiful lokta bark paper that Aveda sources through a fair-trade agreement with a Himalayan collective, providing a stable income for hundreds of families in Nepal. You can pick up Aveda Holiday Gift Sets when you’re at Douglas J for your salon appointment or purchase them online.

A little planning and preparation makes the difference between your holidays being busy and being chaotic! This can be the year you’re able to really enjoy all the amazing moments the holidays bring. 

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