Life can get extra busy during the holiday season. Whether it’s festive decorating and endless cookie baking, or attending gatherings and keeping up with family traditions, there’s likely a lot on your Holiday To-Do List. Through it all, it’s important to find ways to stay graceful, centered and prioritize what really matters - sometimes that’s as easy as focusing on things that make you feel good; taking time to nurture yourself and doing things that bring joy to your life, like helping others.
These daily tips and philanthropic suggestions will keep you fulfilled and merry well into the New Year.
1. Create a calming environment
A soothing scent has been scientifically proven to increase feelings of calm, and minimize feeling overwhelmed. A study published in the journal Frontiers of Psychology showed that inhaling pleasant, familiar scents can counteract negative feelings. Try a Grace de Monaco candle (like the Promenade Sur Le Rocher Scented Candle or the Danse Étoilée Scented Candle), build a fire, curl up under a cozy blanket…and let any holiday worries melt away.
2. Make movement a priority
Cold weather and shorter (busier!) days can make it especially challenging to fit exercise into your routine. But research shows that it’s vital to carve out time to workout this season. Exercise significantly helps to reduce feelings of anxiety by lowering levels of the body’s stress hormones (adrenaline and cortisol), and boosting the production of endorphins, which are the brain’s feel-good chemicals. Health experts recommend getting at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity a week. While any type of exercise will help keep you healthy and feeling balanced, studies show that aerobic exercises like swimming, running, biking, and dancing are most effective. Or, take inspiration from our muse Princess Grace and do one of her favorite things: take a nice long walk in nature.
3. Get more sleep
The more sleep, the merrier: A survey from the American Psychological Association found adults who sleep less than the recommended eight hours of sleep a night are more likely to report feelings of tension. To help improve the duration and quality of your sleep this season, adopt some healthy sleep habits: This includes avoiding caffeine (remember chocolate contains caffeine!), alcohol, and large meals six to eight hours before bedtime; keep your bedroom dark and cool; and remove or set aside all electronic devices. Additionally, try to go to bed at roughly the same time every night (as opposed to going to bed at midnight after a holiday party one night, and trying to make up for it the next night by shutting your eyes at 8pm). This will help keep your body in a healthy rhythm.
4. Give Back
Consider making a donation to a cause that’s important to you. For Princess Grace, her passion was supporting emerging artists in dance, film and theater. The Princess Grace Foundation was created to support these artists through a grant program. Additionally, 100% of the profits from Grace de Monaco flow to the Foundation in support of their program.
5. Treat Yourself
In an effort to create a happy holiday season for our family and friends, we often forget to take time for ourselves. Self-care can be something as small as going for a walk or run (see above), booking a massage, or buying yourself something luxurious, like a scented candle or diffuser to set in your bathroom and create a spa feel while you take a bath.
Adopting self-care habits can enhance the joy and peace in your day-to-day life. And while it’s especially important to follow this advice during the chaotic holiday season, remember these soothing strategies throughout the rest of the year, too.