How To Manage Stress And Anxiety During The Holidays

Posted by Ash DePass on


Published: 12.01.2021


There is this weird dichotomy that happens this time of year, it’s the holidays and everyone is extra jolly and positive and celebrations are cranked on high, but with all this joy and happiness abound, it can make any loss, sadness or dark feelings feel even worse.

Furthermore, whether you’re an introvert or have conflict with certain family members, acquaintances, or colleagues, all of the holiday parties and family gatherings can lead to a lot of stress, tension, and anxiety.

Stress and anxiety don’t only make you feel bad, but they can affect all aspects of your well-being, from depleting your energy, to creating brain fog, to disrupting your sleep, to creating inflammation which, as we all know, does a mighty number on your skin.

You’ve got enough on your plate, you don’t need to worry about all of that on top of everything else.

The good news is there are a few simple and effective things you can do to combat stress and find peace during the chaotic holiday season.

For fun, I’ve broken these tips up into something you can do every morning as part of your morning routine, something you can do every night before bed, as part of your nightly routine, and something you can do as a mid-day life raft whenever you find yourself in a stressful situation.

Three ways to manage stress and feel calm, morning, noon, and night

1. Morning Routine: Gratitude List

If you tuned into my chat with Chelsea Markham for STUNN’s Wellness Leader Series last night, you would have heard this empowering and soothing tip straight from the expert.

When I asked Chelsea for tips on how to glow from the inside out, her first response was gratitude lists. Now, yes, this tip isn’t about how to ‘glow’, but creating a gratitude list has the same mood boosting benefits as cultivating an inner glow, plus it has the added benefit of making you truly radiant.

Every morning, Chelsea takes five minutes to write out five things she is grateful for. One caveat is that these things should be specific and genuine. Saying you’re grateful for your spouse or child or pet every morning may not carry the same weight as saying something specific they do that makes you feel really good, like how they smile at you or that they do the dishes or cuddle with you.

HOW TO: When you wake up, grab a journal, notebook, or even use your phone or laptop, and take a few minutes to think of five SPECIFIC things you are truly grateful for, then list them out and take an extra moment to really feel the gratitude these things bring you.

The best part is you can reflect back on this list throughout the day whenever you’re feeling down.

2. Midday Life Raft: 4-7-8 Breathing Technique

This was another tip mentioned by Chelsea during our chat, with regards to dealing with managing holiday stress. Breathing is a phenomenal tool we completely take for granted.

In order to exist we must breathe, it’s something we do almost every second without thinking, but it’s also something that can completely transform your mental state. For example, if you forced yourself to hyperventilate, your body would react by going into fight or flight mode without you consciously telling it to.

On the other hand, if you were to purposely slow down your breathing, you would experience a physical and psychological calming effect that would actively help you reduce stress and anxiety.

This is precisely why the 4-7-8 breathing technique works so well.

HOW TO: Find a private, quiet place to sit or lie down and start by connecting with your breath. When you are ready:

  • Start by emptying your lungs of air.
  • Then, breathe in through the nose for 4 seconds.
  • Hold your breath for a count of 7 seconds.
  • Then, exhale through the mouth for 8 seconds.
  • Repeat the cycle up to 4 times or until you feel yourself calm down.

3. Nighttime Routine: Facial Massage

Yes, yes, this is not the first time you’ve heard this tip, but for good reason – it not only helps alleviate mental stress, it also helps release physical tension.

So many of us carry tension in our jaws, which can lead to chronic headaches and TMJ. It is so important to consciously release that tension at the end of the day.

By performing a facial massage every night, you are physically releasing tension and promoting relaxation, which will help to reduce mental stress and allow you to fall asleep easier.

HOW TO: Dispense an oil based facial cleanser (we recommend Prism PM Oil Cleanser) or facial oil on clean hands and spread over your entire face. Once your face is covered, begin the massage at your neck.

  • Gently move your pointer and middle fingers from your collarbone up towards your jawline, starting from the outside in.
  • Next, move to your jawline, running your thumbs underneath and your pointer fingers above your jawbone and massage out from your chin on both sides.
  • Repeat this technique along your cheekbones with your thumbs below and your pointer fingers above.
  • Next use your middle fingers to gently massage your delicate under eye area from the bridge of your nose up and out towards your temples, giving yourself a few deeper massage circles at your temples.
  • Use your middle fingers again to massage upwards on the side of your nose directly up to your hairline.
  • Finally, using both your pointer and middle fingers, massage upwards starting at the outside of your eyebrows to your hairline, moving inward until your fingers touch in the center of your forehead.

If you have extra time in the morning you can practice this same technique with Halo AM Oil Cleanser as well. Facial massages are great for not only releasing tension, but they also help with lymphatic drainage and reducing puffiness caused by inflammation.



There are a number of things you can do every day to help manage stress and anxiety, not only during the holidays, but all year long. Starting with just these three simple and effective rituals morning, noon, and night, you should quickly feel a major shift in your mental state and find that inner glow burning just a bit brighter.

← Older Post Newer Post →