From travel to overbooked schedules to colds, the holiday season can become less than joyful. But with a few health and wellness self-care routines in place, you can regain your center and enjoy a peaceful, joy-filled season. Here are nine self-care ideas to try during the holidays. Add your own in the Comments.

1. Find a sauna. Whether you choose to follow the Nordic tradition of alternating cold (sometimes a plunge in the icy sea) with hot, or stick with a more moderate approach, using a sauna in winter can feel wonderful. Seek out a sauna at a local spa or gym, and transport yourself away from your to-do list. And if you’re lucky enough to own a sauna in your own home, make a point of using it!

Urbanology Designs, original photo on Houzz

2. Create a bedroom retreat. Having a soothing, clutter-free space where you can rest and unwind at the end of a long day can do wonders for relieving stress and promoting sleep. Leave the digital screens at the door and read from a real book or write down your thoughts in a journal before turning out the lights.

3. Bundle up and get outdoors. Even if it’s cold where you live, going outdoors each day can be a real mood booster. And if you live near a nature area, getting out into the woods can be a wonderful way to decompress and regain your center in the middle of a busy holiday season.

Banda Property, original photo on Houzz

4. Soothe the soul with an aromatic bath. Essential oils can completely transform a bath into a blissful sensory experience. Try a few drops of eucalyptus oil to open the lungs, or soothing lavender to relax before bedtime. Add the essential oils to your warm bath when it’s about half full, and the whole tub will be fragrant by the time you’re ready to get in.

5. Try an unplugged evening. Simple pastimes like playing cards or games, or working on a puzzle, can provide a nice chance to catch up with family without everyone staring at their own screens. To boost the ambiance even more, turn off the overhead lights and play by the glow of candles and twinkle lights.

6. Warm up by the fire. If you have a fireplace or wood stove, now is the time to put it to use. Light a fire, pull a cozy throw over your lap, and settle in with a hot drink and a good book. It doesn’t get much more relaxing than this.

Related: Stay Cozy and Safe With New and Improved Fireplace Screens

My Zen Home, LLC, original photo on Houzz

7. Try meditation. If you’ve found meditation frustrating in the past, try exercising before you meditate. A bit of movement can help settle your body and prepare it to be still and focus. When you’re ready, find a comfortable sitting position, close your eyes and focus on your breathing. And remember, there is no one grading you. Even a minute of meditation can have a positive impact on your day.

8. Practice some mindful tidying. A bit of daily tidying can go a long way toward keeping a home that feels light, spacious and relaxing. If you find yourself resisting, try gently reminding yourself that by doing just a bit each day, you can savor your home even more.

Related: Hire Professional Cleaning Services Before the Holidays, original photo on Houzz

9. Take a cue from your furry friend. If you have a pet at home, you might want to consider it your resident Zen master. Take a cue from your lounging, care-free cat or happy-go-lucky pooch, and enjoy the present moment to the fullest. 

Original article written by Laura Gaskill on Houzz.