5 ways to de-stress: HOLIDAY EDITION

5 ways to de-stress: HOLIDAY EDITION

1024 683 Ellen Branch

Already spinning from the countless trips to the grocery store you’ve taken this week?Below are a few tips to help you maintain inner peace during the holiday madness. From kooky aunt Viv to obnoxious cousin Pete; keep your sanity and remain stress free!!


Find a quiet, semi-lit room. Set your timer for 30 minutes, and be sure to set the alarm tone to something subtle and soft. Find a comfortable seat. You can lay on your back, kneel, or sit: cross-legged or in a chair. To prepare your body for uninterrupted stillness find your center by stacking shoulders over hips. Close your eyes and draw your attention to your breath. In through your nose and out through your nose. Each moment you inhale take in love and acceptance, and as you exhale release the snark remarks cousin Pete made about your slightly burnt dressing. Before you know it, your timer will go off and all the drama will seem a little less important than the time you have to spend with them!

Take a Walk:

After dinner and dishes, take 20-30 minutes to walk around the neighborhood or to your favorite store. I like to walk solo but some areas aren’t safe so use the buddy system. Before you start walking take a moment to set your intention.  Inhale clarity and exhale spilling the wine on the table. (I’d have a moment of silence for a bold red blend…) Each step you take brings you closer to home and loved ones and further away from stress and anxiety. Before you know it you will have made it home and created space for more bonding.


When I think  of the holidays, I instantly smell my mother’s sweet potato pies. Our sense of smell is a powerful way to bring about feelings of happiness and nostalgia. Scented candles and essential oils containing sandalwood, eucalyptus, sage, or peppermint; scream relaxation and warm the spirit. Find peace in the reminiscent memories of holidays past.


I love to doodle, especially with my younger family members. There are no expectations surrounding what to draw or how much to draw. A circle could be a cloud or a bubble or even a face. Its whatever you want it to be!!


Everyone knows how affective yoga can be to aid in calming the sympathetic nervous system associated with fight or flight and stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system associated with our rest and renew function. The poses below aide in activating the parasympathetic system and are excellent to do before meals or bedtime

(this is the secret key to keeping pounds off too!! wake up your belly before you pile in the turkey. And the stuffing.. And the mac n cheese!)

…Nothing to it but to DO IT!



















What exercises do you do when you are feeling stressed? Let’s chat below!

Ellen Branch

We are the game changers!!! Ellen Branch is the Wellness Editor for UrbanSocial and active yoga instructor in the Charlotte-Metro Area. Specializing in prenatal yoga, Ellen has forged her own path toward aspirations of professional midwifery. Graduating from East Carolina University with a Bachelors of Arts in Women's Studies specializing in Nursing; brings a unique well-versed perspective to everything she does; from spoken word poetry to advocating for laboring women as a doula, Ellen is committed to honoring herself and serving her community.

All stories by:Ellen Branch

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