Taking a Pause: Tips for self-care during the stressed-out holidays

Recharge your spirit with these simple strategies. You deserve it!

5 minute read

A woman in a red shirt drinks cofee out of a white mug

The holiday season often comes bundled with joy, festivities, and a bit of chaos. Between the bustling activities, family gatherings, and the hustle to wrap up tasks before the year's end, stress tends to creep in. Taking a pause, a moment to relax and rejuvenate, is crucial during this time. Here's a list of self-care tips to help manage the stress and find moments of tranquility amidst the holiday rush.

Pet therapy

Snuggling with your furry friends isn't only one of life's best joys, it's also an incredible stress-reliever. Spending quality time with pets not only brings joy but also releases endorphins that can help alleviate stress and anxiety. The simple act of petting your cat or dog has been shown to lower blood pressure and increase feelings of happiness.

A woman cuddiling an Shiba Inu dog while taking a selfie

Practice mindfulness

Take moments throughout the day to practice mindfulness. This can include deep breathing exercises, meditation, or simply being present in the moment. Mindfulness helps to reduce stress and allows you to appreciate the little joys amidst the chaos of the season.

A woman in a copper color shirt lying on the floor basking in sunlight

Set boundaries

It's easy to get swept up in the holiday rush, but it's essential to set boundaries and prioritize self-care. Learn to say no when needed and allocate time for activities that rejuvenate you, whether it's reading a book, taking a bath, or simply relaxing.

A hand writing in a journal that it's OK to say no

Maintain a balanced diet and hydration

The holiday season often comes with indulgent treats. We know that this is easier said than done: It's important to maintain a balanced diet and stay hydrated. Eating nutritious meals and drinking enough water can significantly impact your energy levels and mood.

A person carrying two plates of salad

Get adequate rest

Friends, you deserve sleep. Sleep tends to take a backseat during busy times. Ensure that you get adequate rest to recharge. If you need to schedule into your calendar the time you want to go to bed, go for it. Quality sleep is vital for overall well-being and helps manage stress more effectively.

A woman wearing a red tank top stretches in the morning

Embrace the outdoors

Taking a walk outdoors can work wonders for your mental and physical well-being. Fresh air and nature can provide a sense of calm and clarity. Consider prepping for your walks with products like Wondercide's sprays that keep ticks off you, your family, and your pets. 

A person and a tan and white dog walk together

Connect with loved ones

Amidst the holiday hustle, make time to connect with friends and family. Social support can be a great stress-reliever and a source of comfort during challenging times. Like the song says, “That’s what friends are for!”

A woman sitting cross legged on a sofa with a dog in her lap and a cat to her side speaks on a mobile phone to catch up with a friend

Express gratitude

Take a moment each day to reflect on things you're grateful for. Practicing gratitude can shift your focus to the positive aspects of life, reducing stress and fostering a sense of contentment.

A person wearing a white blouse with a crystal heart necklace and a bracelet

Creative outlets

Engage in creative activities that bring you joy, whether it's painting, crafting, writing, or playing a musical instrument. Creative outlets can serve as a form of expression and a therapeutic escape from stress. Treat yourself to your own creativity as often as you can.

A close up of a person playing a guitar

Digital detox

Ironic if you’re indeed reading this from your phone, but please take breaks from technology and social media. Constant exposure to screens can contribute to stress and anxiety. Unplugging for a while can help clear your mind and reduce mental clutter. Put your phone down and focus on something positive, like that hobby you've been meaning to take up.

A person shaping pottery before its fired with sculpting tools on the table in the background

Physical exercise

It doesn’t have to be much or even vigorous, but when you incorporate regular physical activity into your routine, it helps to release endorphins, boosting your mood and reducing stress. Whether it's a workout at the gym, a yoga session, a walk outside, or a dance class, find what suits you best.

A woman in athletic wear is sitting and touching her toes

The ultimate holiday prep kit

Wondercide's Holiday Prep Kit is a fantastic resource during the busy season. The kit includes home and pet care products to make sure that bugs aren’t part of your holiday gatherings. It’s a discounted set including Wondercide’s new Flying Insect Trap, the cedar Indoor Pest Control spray which kills pantry moths and those that eat holes in your sweaters! Plus peppermint Flea & Tick spray for your pets, a GeraniumShampoo Bar with free cedarwood soap holder, plus a bonus dish towel. Wondercide Holiday prep kit for pets and home with a pet themed dish towel


Aromatherapy can create a calming atmosphere. Natural essential oils such as lavender, chamomile, or eucalyptus can promote relaxation. Light scented candles, set up a simmer pot of natural scents, create lavender sachets, or use essential oil diffusers to create a soothing ambiance at home.

A bag of dried lavender petals sits in a white basket with a few sprigs of lavender


Start a gratitude journal or simply jot down your thoughts and feelings. Writing can be a therapeutic way to process emotions and gain clarity during hectic times.

A woman in brown clothing writes in a journal

Time management and prioritization

Organize your tasks and prioritize what's most important. Feeling overwhelmed often stems from the fear of forgetting or not completing things. Create a schedule or to-do list to manage tasks effectively.

Talk with a professional if needed

If stress becomes overwhelming or affects your mental health, seek support from a therapist, counselor, or support group. There's no shame in asking for help when needed. Your mental health is just as important as your physical health.

A black woman in a green shirt smiles as she sits on a sofa across from a counselor

Music and relaxing sounds

Listen to calming music or nature sounds. Music has a profound impact on mood and can be used as a tool for relaxation and stress relief. We’ve created a variety of playlists to boost your mood.

A woman in an offwhite sweater wearing headphones dances as she looks out the window

Warm baths or showers

Treat yourself to a warm bath or shower. It's a simple yet effective way to unwind and relax your muscles after a hectic day.

A woman prepares for a bath sitting next to the tub while wearing a white waffle weave robe

Random acts of kindness

Engage in acts of kindness. Giving back, helping others, or volunteering can be incredibly rewarding and bring a sense of fulfillment, reducing personal stress in the process.

A man picks up trash along the Austin waterway while wearing a Wondercide hoodie

Laughter and entertainment

Watch a funny movie or comedy show, or spend time with people who make you laugh. Laughter is a great stress reliever and mood lifter.

Remember, self-care is not a one-size-fits-all concept. It's essential to find what works best for you and integrate these practices into your routine during the holidays. Combining these various self-care strategies can help you navigate the hustle and bustle of the season while finding moments of peace and serenity.

A mom and baby share a laugh and smiles