Five ways to relax during the holiday season

There's no doubt the holidays bring about a huge amount of stress and there's little time to relax when there's so much to do. However, finding alone time is important, not only for your sanity, but to help you recharge and feel more energized. Whether you have only a little time or several hours, there are a few ways to relax during the holidays regardless of how long your to-do and shopping lists are.

Take a bubble bath

From what I hear, people rarely take baths anymore, but every once in awhile it's still an amazing thing. It may be a bit difficult for those like myself who can't sit still long enough, but it's such an indulgence and you can feel so much better afterward. Put on some holiday music, close the door or tell anyone else in your house to take a hike for awhile, then dip into the scented, bubble-filled water. Check out the holiday bath items from Philosophy for options that smell delicious.

Get a holiday manicure

You probably have a slew of holiday events coming up, so get prepped by getting a holiday manicure. Considering some can be rather expensive, another option is to do it yourself or have a girl's night and have a friend do it. If you have little patience or you're lacking a steady hand, try Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips from Sally Hansen.

Get your hair done

There's something soothing about sitting in a chair while someone washes, dries, cuts and styles your hair while you relax and listen to music or converse. You're buying everyone else gifts -- treat yourself too! If you're short on funds, look for stylists needing hair models or go to a beauty school where they need people willing to let students do basic cuts and styles to prove their skills.

Wine and a movie

Gather those in your house -- or ask them to leave for a few hours if you want some alone time -- grab a bottle of wine and put on a favorite movie or one you've never seen before. Put the phone away, turn the computer off, and just focus on yourself and relaxing. One of my favorite inexpensive wines, especially around the holidays, is the Cranberry wine from Tomasello Winery.

Plan a holiday date night each week

At least once a week, break away from everything stress-related and plan a date night either with your guy or your girlfriends. Do a holiday or winter activity -- go skiing or ice skating, watch a tree lighting, or drive around and look at the holiday décor on the houses.

One of the most important things I've learned about handling stress, especially during the holidays, is that you need to take care of yourself first if you want to take care of your responsibilities in other areas of your life. When you're stressed, tired, rundown or cranky, it affects everything else in your life. Indulge in some relaxing time without feeling guilty -- consider it a gift to yourself.

More from Lauren R:

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