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Embrace | Overcome | Create Your Life 

  • Writer's pictureTerri K. Lankford, LPCS

Holiday Stress: 3 Holistic Self-Care Practices for the Holiday Season

In our last blog post, we talked about the top three stressors during the holiday season. We also talked about how nearly half of Americans are more stressed out during the holidays compared to the rest of the year. With the holidays being such a stressful season, what can you do?

This is where some good old fashioned holistic self-care comes in. Self-care is a vital practice that contributes to overall well-being and includes actions that prioritize mental, emotional, and physical health. According to a study by the American Psychological Association, engaging in regular self-care not only reduces stress but also enhances resilience, with 81% of individuals reporting improved mood and energy levels. Taking time for self-care fosters a positive mindset, increases productivity, and empowers individuals to navigate life's challenges with greater ease and balance.

So, what are three holistic self-care practices to do this holiday season? Check out the top suggestions from the holistic counselors at Rise and Thrive Counseling below!

Embrace the Art of Hygge

Hygge, pronounced hooga, is a Danish term for embracing coziness. Hygge is all about enjoying the simple pleasures in life. Here are four ways to embrace hygge this holiday season:

  1. Create Cozy Spaces: Arrange your living spaces with soft blankets, plush cushions, and warm lighting to foster a sense of comfort and tranquility. Candles or warm holiday lights are a perfect way to feel both festive and cozy!

  2. Embrace Nature: Connect with the outdoors during the winter season, whether through mindful walks in a snow-covered park or simply observing the beauty of nature from a cozy window seat.

  3. Unplug for Quality Time: Practice digital detox by setting aside specific times to unplug from electronic devices, allowing for genuine, uninterrupted connections with loved ones or yourself.

  4. Indulge in Comfort Foods: Explore nourishing and comforting winter recipes, engaging in the process of cooking and savoring meals that bring a sense of warmth and well-being.

Practice Winter-Based Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy is a holistic practice that utilizes aromatic plant extracts, known as essential oils, to enhance psychological and physical well-being, with studies indicating that inhaling essential oils can lead to a significant reduction in stress levels and improved mood. Check out four ways to incorporate aromatherapy this winter:

  1. Select Seasonal Scents: Choose essential oils that evoke the essence of the season, such as pine, cedarwood, peppermint, or cinnamon. These scents can bring a festive and cozy atmosphere to your space.

  2. Create Rituals: Incorporate aromatherapy into daily rituals, such as diffusing calming scents during meditation or using energizing scents to start your day. This can enhance the overall experience and create a sensory connection.

  3. Blend Scents for Variety: Experiment with blending different essential oils to create unique and personalized scents. For example, combine citrus and spice for a lively winter blend or lavender and eucalyptus for a calming atmosphere.

  4. Mindful Breathing Practices: Practice mindful breathing techniques while experiencing aromatherapy. Inhale deeply, focusing on the aroma, and exhale slowly. This can enhance the relaxation and mood-boosting benefits of the scents.

Enjoy Nourishing Winter Meals

Nourishing winter recipes encompass wholesome, seasonally inspired meals rich in essential nutrients, providing not only physical well-being but also serving as a meaningful self-care activity by fostering a connection with nourishing ingredients and the comforting ritual of preparing and enjoying a hearty, homemade meal. Here are four ways to incorporate nourishing winter meals into your diet and self-care routine:

  1. Incorporate Seasonal Produce: Choose winter-specific fruits and vegetables like root vegetables, dark leafy greens, and citrus fruits to create recipes that align with the season's nutritional offerings.

  2. Focus on Warming Ingredients: Include ingredients with warming properties, such as ginger, garlic, cinnamon, and hearty grains, to create dishes that provide comfort and nourishment during the colder months.

  3. Experiment with Nutrient-Rich Soups: Craft nutrient-dense soups by combining a variety of vegetables, legumes, and lean proteins, incorporating ingredients like bone broth for added nutritional benefits and immune support. (Some of our favorites are listed here!)

  4. Mindful Cooking Practices: Approach cooking with mindfulness, savoring the process and paying attention to the textures, flavors, and aromas of the ingredients, promoting a holistic connection with your nourishing winter meals.

We hope this blog post helps you incorporate three holistic self-care practices this season! If you want more holistic help, look no further than Rise and Thrive Counseling. Our holistic counselors can help address all areas of life. Reach out today to learn more. We look forward to hearing from you!




Welcome to Embrace | Overcome | Create Your Life.


I’m Terri Kiser Lankford, owner of the Rise & Thrive Counseling Practice, a Licensed Professional Counselor Supervisor (in NC), and the host here at Rise & Thrive Counseling, PLLC and the Embrace| Overcome|CreateYourLife Blog.


I’m also an entrepreneur, Syltherin, foodie on a fitness journey, complete book nerd, photography novice who happens to think music is life. 


Warning! This site is about motivation, health & wellness, and self love.  but its also about various mental health issues and may talk about subjects such as suicide, self-harm and other touchy subjects at some point. This site is not intended for youth and may be “too much” to some.


Nothing on this site should be considered a medical recommendation. I am not a doctor. Anything of interest should be discussed with your doctor or therapist, or me (in person) if you are my current client.  No guarantee of accuracy is expressed or implied. (Sorry, I have to say that.)


All writing and mental health information here are accurate to the best of my knowledge at the time of publication. However, keep in mind my opinion, and available information, changes over time.

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