Ways to take care of yourself during the “Most Wonderful Time of the Year.”

Let’s face it holiday season is one of the most hectic times of our lives, especially if you’re a trailblazing woman who owns a company. Balancing taking time off, seeing family, and buying gifts can cause anxiety, stress, disappointment, and sadness. So not the most wonderful time of the year right? These founders, however, manage to find ways to take care of oneself and loved ones during this hectic season.

Write handwritten letters to friends and family

In a digital-driven era, I find it relaxing to write handwritten letters to friends and family. It’s a great way to disconnect and reconnect with those you love. “Likes” only get so far. Additionally, I de-stress by pumping my favorite jams and dancing out my stressors and fears. For the holidays I highly recommend the Mariah Carey Christmas Album.

– Larissa May, Founder of #HalfTheStory

Invest in spending time together versus buying objects

The holidays can be super stressful especially when you are your own boss, and your income solely depends on you. Balancing taking time off, seeing family, and buying gifts can be rough. In my family, we’ve started the tradition of gifting experiences. Let’s invest in spending time together versus buying objects whether it’s a concert, a trip or even a pedicure together. This way you get in self-care, family and gifting all in one!

Diana Davis, Photography and Graphic Design at Diana Davis Creative

Throwing stuff away

Every holiday season, I usually back at my old family home where I’ve accumulated so much more stuff than I normally have as I’m traveling around. Every time I’m back, I de-stress by throwing out a bunch of things and becoming more comfortable with less.
– Steph Smith, Founder of nomad(hubb)

I sort out my inbox

I always try to use the holiday season to sort out my inbox. The holiday season means fewer meetings and more people away from the office. It’s perfect to finally delete emails I know I won’t treat, reply to the ones I’ve meant to come back to, and block a few hours to draft the longer ones. Strangely, it almost feels meditative. This way, I feel more relaxed when January comes, and my inbox is not a complete mess. Until everyone comes back from holiday!

 – Anne-Laure Le Cunff, Founder of Ness Labs

Take salsa dance class

When it comes to holiday stress, the one thing that always clears my mind is a salsa dance class. I started taking salsa right before I launched my company, knowing that I’d need something spirited to get my mind off work. It’s the perfect feel-good, body-moving, non-verbal activity that resets my entire self and makes me smile from the inside without thinking.
– Emily Sauer, Founder of Ohnut

Prepare traditional food

During Christmas, my mom and I prepare traditional Polish food to celebrate the meatless Polish Catholic Christmas Eve feast, Wigilia. While it may sound stressful with all the planning that’s involved, it’s among the most memorable cooking memories each year. Cooking with mom makes me nostalgic for celebrating Christmas together with our Polish side of the family in the past. I can still imagine the times where I watched in awe as a kid when my Polish grandma prepared mushroom and sauerkraut pierogies. She always seemed to whip everything together for Wigilia.
– Nicolette Orlemans, Founder of #CultureTrav

Rapping along to the Hamilton cast album while I clean

Necessary self-care in the Year of Our Lord 2018 – hip hop kickboxing class (punching and twerking) and rapping along to the Hamilton cast album while I clean.
– Casey Erin Clark, co-founder and coach, Vital Voice Training

Doing activities that are relevant to the time period

I love to get into the holiday season by spending time with my family doing activities that are relevant to the period. For example, my family and I had a New York moment when we went to see the Macy’s day balloon’s getting blown up near the museum of natural history the afternoon before the parade. It was great to create new memories and enjoy the opportunity to be close to such an iconic moment. As a kid, I always watched the parade on TV with my family. This was the perfect way to extend this fond childhood memory without the stress of the season.
– Stacie Sussman, Founder of SSR Digital Group

I create a standby response

Holidays = Boundaries. I’m permitting myself to find some privacy. Sometimes I find an uninterrupted, safe space for at least ten minutes – bathroom, etc. Once I hid in a coat closet to gather myself. Additionally, I create a standby response for that question you always get asked, “Oh, are you dating anyone?” or “Oh no! But I liked: insert ex-significant other” or “How’s work going? I want to brainstorm on those responses beforehand. Therefore, I feel less stressed when I get that dreaded question.
– Jessica Minhas, Founder of I’ll Go First

I test new recipes

When I’m feeling stressed or creatively blocked, I find so much peace in the kitchen testing out new recipes — especially using seasonal ingredients. This could mean that I am trying to make pumpkin and root vegetable dishes around Halloween, and theme-ing a lot of my meals for each holiday. As the winter months roll around, I get excited about applying warm spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, turmeric, and cayenne to make sweet or savory treats. You know I’m sleepless or stressed out when I begin bringing baked goods to the office because it’s one of the few ways I unwind.
– Dasha Kova, Creative Video Producer, dashakova.com