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How To Turn Skincare Into a Sacred Self-Care Ritual

We’ve all heard of skincare as self-care, but in the hustle and bustle of our daily lives, where time slips through our fingers like sand, it can be challenging to find moments of solace and self-nurturing. That’s where mindfulness steps in. Amidst the chaos, our skincare routine can emerge as a sanctuary—a sacred ritual that extends beyond surface-level beauty. In this exploration, we delve into the profound connection between skincare and self-care, weaving in mindfulness practices and ancient-inspired rituals that elevate the essence of our well-being.

The Ritual of Cleansing

As the sun gently kisses the dawn or bids adieu to the day, the ritual of cleansing becomes a mindful journey. In the morning, it’s more than washing away the night; it’s a symbolic act of shedding yesterday’s burdens. Embrace the sensation of water, the touch of cleanser on your skin – each motion a gesture of renewal. Drawing inspiration from ancient cleansing rituals, consider infusing your routine with intention. Perhaps envision the water carrying away any negativity, leaving behind a canvas ready for the day’s artistry.

A Sacred Unveiling

In the realm of skincare, the cleansing ritual stands as a cornerstone—an intimate dance between you and your skin, a moment to shed the layers that accumulate through the day or night. Let’s delve deeper into this sacred act, exploring the tools, products, and the transformative benefits it bestows upon the skin.

Tools of Purification

Consider your choice of cleansing tools as instruments of care. From the simplicity of your hands, a vessel of touch and connection, to the luxurious softness of facial cleansing brushes, each tool imparts a unique sensation. Ancient traditions often employed natural materials like muslin or bamboo for their cleansing rituals. Modern adaptations include konjac sponges, a nod to the Japanese tradition of using konjac root for its gentle exfoliating properties.

Products as Elixirs of Renewal

The products you choose for cleansing become elixirs, infusing the ritual with therapeutic properties. From creamy cleansers reminiscent of ancient milk and honey baths to oil cleansers inspired by the wisdom of double cleansing from Korean skincare, each product tells a story. Aromatherapy joins the journey with botanical-infused cleansers, awakening the senses and turning the act of cleansing into a sensorial experience.

The Alchemy of Cleansing

As the water cascades over your face, carrying away impurities, it is not just a physical cleansing but a symbolic act of purification. The gentle massage of the cleanser invigorates the skin, promoting blood circulation and oxygenation. Ancient cultures often associated water with renewal and rebirth—consider the Japanese Misogi ritual, a waterfall purification practice symbolizing a spiritual cleanse.

Benefits Unveiled

The benefits of a mindful cleansing ritual are manifold. Firstly, it sets the stage for subsequent skincare steps, preparing the skin to absorb the goodness of serums and moisturizers more effectively. Cleansing removes excess oil, sweat, and environmental pollutants, preventing congestion and supporting the skin’s natural regeneration process.

Moreover, the act of cleansing is an act of self-respect. It communicates to your skin that you honor and care for it, fostering a positive relationship with your body. Beyond the physical, the ritual holds the potential to be a moment of mindfulness, a pause in the chaos of life.

How to Turn Skincare into Self-Care

Nourishing the Temple

Our skin is a reflection of our internal well-being, and the importance of hydration and nutrition cannot be overstated. Beyond topical treatments, the foundation of radiant skin lies in nourishing from within. As you sip your morning herbal tea or relish a nutrient-packed smoothie, consider it a mindful act of self-love. In ancient traditions, the concept of beauty elixirs was revered—infusions of nature’s bounty believed to enhance vitality and radiance. Today, we echo this wisdom through superfood-rich diets and skin-loving nutrients.

Feeding Your Skin’s Soul

Once the canvas is cleansed, the sacred ritual of nourishing begins—a journey where skincare becomes a feast for the skin, a banquet of hydration and nutrients. Let’s explore the customs and practices of infusing nourishment into your skincare routine, drawing inspiration from ancient wisdom and modern revelations.

Hydration as Elixir

In many ancient traditions, water is revered as a source of life and pureness. The concept extends to skincare, where hydration is the elixir that quenches the skin’s thirst. Begin this nourishing journey with a hydrating toner, echoing the rituals of floral water spritzing in ancient cultures. Incorporate practices from Ayurveda, where the cooling properties of rose water or the rejuvenating touch of sandalwood water are celebrated.

The Art of Treatment

Treating skin with topicals and touch is not just a physical act but a symbolic embrace of self-love. Caress your skin with your hands, using salves or tools like you would anoint a sacred vessel. Consider the practices of facial gua sha—a Chinese technique that involves gentle scraping motions with a thin smooth stone, promoting lymphatic drainage and enhancing product absorption. Picture each stroke as a gesture of care, sculpting your skin with intention.

Ancient Beauty Elixirs

Explore the world of ancient beauty elixirs, where oils and potions were treasured as gifts from nature. In Ayurveda, sesame oil has been revered for its nourishing properties. Embrace the wisdom of the Egyptians, anointing your skin with the liquid gold of argan oil. Anoint your skin with the supernutrients contained in a precious bottle of Herban Wisdom® Facial Oil from Humanist Beauty. These elixirs are more than skincare; they are invitations to connect with the wisdom of the ancients, infusing your routine with timeless beauty.

Mindful Eating for Radiance

Extend the concept of nourishment beyond topical applications. What you consume reflects on your skin. In Ayurveda, the belief is that radiant skin comes from a balanced diet. Incorporate antioxidant-rich foods like berries, leafy greens, and nuts into your meals. In the spirit of mindful eating, savor each bite, recognizing that what you ingest contributes to the radiance you seek.

Cultural Nourishing Traditions

Across cultures, there are unique nourishing traditions that go beyond skincare. In Korea, the practice of “hannamubi” involves applying the essence of boiled rice water to the skin for a luminous complexion. In Japan, the consumption of collagen-rich foods like fish and seaweed is celebrated for its skin-plumping effects. Integrate these customs into your routine, weaving a tapestry of global beauty wisdom.

As you nourish your skin, consider it an act of reciprocity. Your skin, like a sacred temple, deserves offerings of love, kindness, and nutrients. Let the practices of hydrating, moisturizing, and embracing ancient elixirs be more than skincare steps; let them be rituals of nourishment, feeding not just your skin but your soul.

Herban Wisdom Facial Oil

The Art of Mindful Moisturizing

After the canvas is cleansed and the skin is nourished, the journey of self-care continues with the art of mindful moisturizing—a deliberate and intentional act that transcends mere hydration. Moisturizing is more than just a step in the routine; it’s a gesture of self-preservation. In this section, we’ll delve into the intricacies of this ritual, exploring techniques, products, and the profound benefits it imparts to your skin and soul.

Rituals of Moisture

Imagine moisturizing not as a routine task but as a sacred dance, a symphony of touch and intention. Begin with a moment of mindfulness. Pause and appreciate the vessel that is your body. Acknowledge the journey your skin has undertaken from cleansing to nourishment. Let this awareness infuse the act of moisturizing with a sense of gratitude and connection. Consider incorporating specific gestures into your ritual. Picture a gentle pressing motion, like the petals of a flower unfolding, as you apply your moisturizer. Alternatively, indulge in a self-massage, taking the time to knead tension away from your face, neck, and décolletage. These deliberate movements elevate the moisturizing ritual from a mundane task to a transformative experience.

Techniques of Tranquility

Mindful moisturizing is about more than just slathering on a product—it’s about engaging with your skin in a way that fosters relaxation and tranquility. Begin with deep, intentional breaths. As you apply the moisturizer, synchronize your breath with your movements, creating a rhythmic flow that calms the mind. Explore the technique of acupressure, pressing specific points on the face associated with relaxation and rejuvenation. As your fingers trace these points, envision stress melting away, leaving room for a serene glow to emerge. Combine this with the use of jade rollers or gua sha tools, encouraging lymphatic drainage and promoting a sense of well-being.

Choosing Sacred Elixirs

Selecting the right moisturizer is akin to choosing a sacred elixir for your skin. Consider products with natural, botanical ingredients that resonate with your senses. Infusions of chamomile, lavender, or rose not only nourish the skin but also engage your olfactory senses in a sensory journey. Incorporate traditional beauty oils like jojoba, squalane, or rosehip seed oil. These oils, reminiscent of ancient beauty elixirs, provide deep hydration and lend a touch of luxury to your routine. The act of anointing your skin with these precious oils becomes a ceremony, a communion between you and the timeless wisdom of natural ingredients.

Benefits of Mindful Moisturizing

Beyond the surface-level benefits of hydration, mindful moisturizing offers a cascade of advantages. The intentional touch and massage can improve blood circulation, promoting a healthy complexion. The act of mindful breathing during this ritual reduces stress, contributing to a calmer mind and, consequently, a relaxed visage.

Emotionally, this practice nurtures a positive relationship with your body. It becomes a self-affirming act—a moment where you acknowledge the beauty of your skin and express gratitude for the vessel that carries you through life. Mindful moisturizing becomes an anchor, grounding you in the present and fostering a deeper connection with your inner self.

How to Turn Skincare into Self-Care

Serenity in Skincare: Face Masks and Meditation

Enter the realm of serenity by intertwining skincare with meditation. Applying a face mask becomes a meditative practice, a pause button for the mind. Picture the mask as a shield, guarding not only your skin but also your peace. Drawing inspiration from ancient mask rituals, where beauty and spirituality intertwined, let this modern adaptation be a bridge to inner tranquility. This section explores the profound connection between these two practices, each enhancing the other to weave a tapestry of tranquility for your skin and soul.

The Ritual of Masking: A Gateway to Stillness

Face masks are not mere skincare products; they are gateways to stillness—a pause in the daily hustle to indulge in self-care. Choosing a face mask becomes a mindful act, an intentional selection based on your skin’s needs and your desire for serenity. For the most conscious mask choice, opt for a rinse-off or leave-on formula—avoid ever using single-use sachets or disposable non-woven cloth masks.

Customizing the Experience

Consider customizing your masking experience to align with your emotional state. Opt for a calming lavender-infused rinse-off mask for moments of stress, or choose a brightening citrus overnight leave-on mask when you seek an invigorating lift. The selection process becomes a conscious decision to address both your skin’s requirements and your emotional well-being.

Application as a Ritual

Applying a face mask becomes a ritual of self-love. As you paint the mask onto your skin, visualize it as a protective shield, guarding not just your physical complexion but also your mental and emotional well-being. Let each stroke be deliberate, a gesture of care and devotion to yourself.

Meditation in the Mask: Finding Stillness Amidst the Clay

The application of a face mask is not merely a waiting period; it’s an opportunity for meditation. Picture the mask as a cocoon, a space of transformation and rejuvenation. As the mask dries or settles into your skin, enter a state of mindfulness.

Guided Meditation

Consider incorporating guided meditation into your masking ritual. Apps or online platforms offer short meditation sessions tailored to the time it takes for your mask to work its magic. Focus on your breath, the sensation of the mask on your skin, and visualize each inhale bringing in positivity and each exhale releasing tension.

Body Scan Meditation

Engage in a body scan meditation, directing your attention to each part of your body. As you move your awareness from head to toe, imagine the mask drawing out not just impurities from your skin but also stress and fatigue from your entire being.

Ancient Mask Rituals and Modern Adaptations

The practice of using masks for beauty and well-being dates back centuries across various cultures. From the renowned clay masks of ancient Egypt to the soothing yogurt masks of Ayurveda, these rituals have stood the test of time.

Modern Adaptations with Natural Clays

Incorporate ancient inspirations into your modern routine using different types of masks. Embrace the purifying properties of Bentonite clay, revered for its detoxifying abilities in rinse-off masks. Kaolin clay, a gentle option, mirrors the softness of ancient masks used in rituals of self-purification. Rhassoul clay, inspired by traditional Moroccan practices, provides deep cleansing while preserving the skin’s natural moisture in overnight leave-on masks.

Honey Masks and Beyond

Honey masks, while not a vegan option, have been used since ancient times for their soothing, antibacterial properties.  Aloe masks offer skin-soothing hydration that helps to calm and quench dry, sensitive skin. The choice of mask becomes a bridge connecting you to the timeless wisdom of beauty rituals, where each natural ingredient carries the essence of ancient traditions.

Benefits Beyond the Surface

Beyond the visible benefits of clearer, brighter skin, the combination of face masks and meditation offers holistic advantages. The stillness cultivated during the masking process extends beyond the ritual itself, fostering a sense of calm that lingers in your daily life.

As you remove the mask, envision shedding not just impurities but also the burdens of the day. This practice becomes a reminder that self-care is not a luxury but a necessity—a moment to find serenity in the sanctuary of your skincare routine.

How to Turn Skincare into Self-Care

Timeless Beauty Practices from Ancient Wisdom

Ancient beauty practices are the threads that weave through time, connecting us to the wisdom of civilizations long past. This section delves into the beauty rituals of ancient cultures—Ayurveda, Chinese traditions, and Egyptian regimens—and how these timeless practices continue to inspire modern skincare routines.

Ayurvedic Wisdom: Honoring the Elements

Ayurveda, the ancient healing system from India, views beauty as an expression of inner balance. Central to Ayurveda is the concept of doshas—Vata, Pitta, and Kapha—representing the fundamental energies of the body. Embrace Ayurvedic skincare by identifying your dosha and tailoring your routine accordingly.

Balancing Act with Oils

Ayurvedic beauty rituals often involve the use of oils, such as sesame or coconut oil, to balance the doshas. First, take a test to determine your dosha, then incorporate suggested oils that align with your dosha into your routine. The Ayurvedic practice of oil cleansing or Abhyanga—a self-massage with warm oil—is a lovely way to infuse self-care into your skin care regimen. Picture each drop of oil as a nourishing potion, bringing harmony to your skin and spirit.

Ubtan: Nature’s Beauty Elixir

Ubtan, a traditional Ayurvedic mask made from herbs, spices, and grains, is a potent elixir for radiant skin. Customize your Ubtan based on your skin’s needs, embracing the therapeutic properties of ingredients like turmeric, sandalwood, and chickpea flour.

Chinese Elegance: The Harmony of Yin and Yang

Chinese beauty traditions are rooted in achieving harmony—both within the body and with the surrounding environment. Embrace the principles of Yin and Yang to cultivate balance and radiance in your skin.

Gua Sha: Sculpting Beauty from Within

Gua Sha, a Chinese facial massage technique, promotes lymphatic drainage and stimulates blood circulation. Incorporate a Gua Sha tool, often made of jade or rose quartz, into your routine. Envision it as a sculptor’s tool, shaping your facial contours and fostering a sense of inner balance.

Green Tea Elixirs

Green tea, celebrated in Chinese culture for its antioxidant properties, can be a powerful addition to your skincare routine. Use green tea-infused products or create your own green tea mask. Let the natural elixir revive your skin, mirroring the ancient reverence for this soothing beverage.

Egyptian Royalty Rituals: Gold and Essential Oils

Egyptian beauty rituals were extravagant affairs, especially among royalty. Cleopatra, the epitome of ancient Egyptian beauty, left a legacy of indulgence and opulence.

Gold-infused Elixirs

Channel the spirit of Cleopatra by incorporating gold-infused skincare. Gold is believed to promote collagen production and impart a radiant glow. Consider gold-infused serums or masks, envisioning each application as a nod to the regal beauty rituals of ancient Egypt.

Sacred Essential Oils

Essential oils, such as frankincense and myrrh, were treasured by ancient Egyptians for their aromatic and skincare benefits. Use these oils in your routine, perhaps during a calming facial massage. Picture yourself in the luxurious chambers of an ancient Egyptian queen, indulging in the scents that once graced the royal court.

Japanese Serenity: Embracing Simplicity

Japanese beauty philosophy is grounded in simplicity and respect for nature. The pursuit of “Kanso,” simplicity, guides skincare practices to enhance the skin’s natural radiance.

Double Cleansing

Double cleansing, a Japanese skincare staple, involves using an oil-based cleanser followed by a water-based one. This ritual ensures thorough cleansing without stripping the skin. Picture the oils lifting away impurities, leaving your skin pristine and in harmony with nature.

Sacred Camellia Oil

Camellia oil, revered in Japan for centuries, is rich in antioxidants and vitamins. Use camellia oil as a moisturizer, appreciating its lightweight yet deeply nourishing nature. Let it be a reminder of the simplicity and elegance celebrated in Japanese skincare.

How to Turn Skincare into Self-Care

In the symphony of our daily lives, our skincare routine emerges as a harmonious melody—an intricate composition of self-care, mindfulness, and ancient wisdom. Let every drop of serum, every stroke of the jade roller, be a note in this symphony. As you unveil your radiant skin, remember that it’s not just about beauty; it’s about embracing the profound connection between caring for your skin and nurturing your soul. May your skincare ritual be a sacred journey, an ode to the beauty within, and a timeless affirmation of self-love.

Give Beauty Roundup

With the holidays just around the corner, many people have begun shopping for loved ones’ gifts. Of course the holidays aren’t just about presents, but studies do show that giving and receiving gifts helps us feel good. Aside from being one of the five love languages, gifts selected with care help express your values and support businesses that are helping make the world a better place. Buying clean, non-toxic gifts for the beauty and skincare lovers in your life can also be soul-warming knowing your present is better for our planet’s health. Say goodbye to gift-related stress as we’ve scoured EWG Verified, Leaping Bunny, B Corp, Climate Pledge Friendly, and Carbon Neutral brands to find the best gifts for your friends and loved ones (and you!). Here are our top 13 favorite clean beauty and self-care gifts to give this holiday season:

HiBAR Shampoo and Conditioner Sample Bar Set

Hibar Shampoo and Conditioner BarsHiBAR’s all-natural shampoo and conditioner bars are made with all hair types in mind, and they cleanse and moisturize without all the wasteful packaging. HiBAR’s shampoo bars can last as long as one 16oz bottle, while the solid conditioner bar can last as long as two. HiBAR is Leaping Bunny Certified and Climate Pledge Friendly.

You can purchase the HiBAR Shampoo and Conditioner Sample Bar Set here

Honest Beauty Prime + Perfect Mask

Honest Beauty Prime + Perfect Mask with Superfruits & Shea ButterHonest Beauty’s antioxidant-rich, moisturizing mask utilizes black currant extract and ice wine to help make the skin appear firmer and more supple. It’s also formulated with vitamin E and superfruits to nourish and replenish. Honest Beauty is EWG Verified, Climate Pledge Friendly, and Cruelty-Free. 

You can purchase the Honest Beauty Prime + Perfect Mask here.

Versed Hydration Station Booster Facial Treatment

Versed Hydration Station Booster Facial TreatmentThis serum booster uses two types of hydrolyzed hyaluronic acid to hydrate the skin’s surface and the layers beneath it. It’s virtually weightless, which means it disappears into the skin within seconds. It can be used alone as a serum or mixed in with your other serums, gels, creams, and even face makeup to create a dewy look. Versed Skincare is EWG Verified, Climate Pledge Friendly, and Leaping Bunny Certified. 

You can purchase the Versed Hydration Station Booster Facial Treatment here

Greenzla Reusable Makeup Remover Pads Gift Pack

Greenzla Reusable Makeup WipesThe Greenzla Makeup Pads are designed to last for years, which means no more throwaway cotton balls, wipes, sponges, or paper towels in your beauty routine. The surface of the pads are made from ultra-soft natural bamboo and organic cotton material. This Climate Pledge Friendly and Zero-Waste package includes 20 reusable makeup remover pads, a storage container, and a laundry bag.

You can purchase the Greenzla Reusable Makeup Remover Pads Gift Pack here

Pipette Relaxing Body Lotion

Pipette Relaxing Body Lotion

If you know a new or expecting mom or someone that just loves clean, non-toxic lotion, Pipette’s Relaxing Body Lotion is the perfect gift. This softly aromatic moisturizing body lotion with plant-derived ingredients melts in instantly, adding long-lasting, weightless moisture to the skin. All Pipette’s products are EWG Verified, Climate Pledge Friendly, and Leaping Bunny Certified.

You can purchase the Pipette Relaxing Body Lotion here

Moon Valley Organics Rejuvenating Gift Set

Moon Valley Organics Gift Set

This Moon Valley Organics gift set includes one Rejuvenating Body Rub, a Lemon Vanilla Herbal Lotion Bar, and a Velvety Vanilla Beeswax Lip Balm; all are beautifully packaged in a 100% biodegradable pouch. Moon Valley Organics is a B Corp, Climate Pledge Friendly, Leaping Bunny Certified, and the brand devotes 10% of all its proceeds to help protect pollinators through direct action and contributions to non-profits.

You can purchase the Moon Valley Organics Rejuvenating Gift Set here

Biossance Squalane + Rose Vegan Lip Balm

Biossance’s Squalane + Rose Vegan Lip Balm is a new, reformulated lip balm with 10x more hydrating power and 50% more product in an easy-to-apply tube; plus, it never feels sticky. It’s formulated with hyaluronic acid and squalane to deliver a boost of hydration, along with ceramides to help maintain and prevent moisture loss. Biossance’s products are EWG Verified, Climate Pledge Friendly, and Leaping Bunny Certified. 

You can purchase the Biossance Squalane + Rose Vegan Lip Balm here

RYVE Daily Inspirational Flip Calendar

RYVE Daily Flip CalenderThe Climate Pledge Friendly RYVE Inspirational Flip Calendar is packed with daily inspirational quotes, positive affirmations, and self-reflection questions; it also acts as an empowerment book. Not only does this daily desk calendar come with bonus printable goal-setting templates, but for every calendar sold, RYVE will buy a meal for the hungry in the US.

You can purchase the RYVE Daily Inspirational Flip Calendar here

Soap & Glory Clarity Vitamin C Facial Wash 

Soap and Glory Facial WashThe Soap & Glory 3-in-1 Vitamin C Facial Wash formula goes beyond other makeup removers by utilizing biodegradable wax beads, powerful antioxidants, Vitamin C, and yuzu fruit extract to purify and leave the skin squeaky clean. This product is perfect for all skin types. Soap & Glory products are Climate Pledge Friendly and Leaping Bunny Certified. 

You can purchase the Soap & Glory Clarity Vitamin C Facial Wash here

HAN Skincare All Natural 3-in-1 Multistick for Cheeks, Lips, Eyes

Han Skincare BlushHan Skincare’s 3-in-1 Multistick is formulated with shea butter, argan oil, and Vitamin E for skin hydration, along with plant pigments and minerals to deliver a gorgeous color to the cheeks, lips, and eyes. The brand offers an array of shades for all skin tones. Han Skincare is Climate Pledge Friendly and Leaping Bunny Certified. 

You can purchase the HAN Skincare All Natural 3-in-1 Multistick for Cheeks, Lips, and Eyes here

Mineral Fusion Eye Shadow Trio

Mineral Fusion Eye Shadow

The Mineral Fusion Eye Shadow Trio offers a palette of richly pigmented, color-coordinated eyeshadows that can be mixed and matched to perfect any look. The brand’s shadows are formulated with a soothing mix of chamomile, meadowfoam, and vitamin E to help show the delicate skin around your eyes some love. You can also choose from an array of color pallets to match anyone’s aesthetic. Mineral Fusion products are EWG Verified, Climate Pledge Friendly, Leaping Bunny, and Carbon Neutral via CarbonFund

You can purchase the Mineral Fusion Eye Shadow Trio here

Find Your Own Magic Guided Self-Care Journal

Guided Self-Care Journal

Give the gift of journaling this holiday season with a self-discovery journaling experience that lasts the entire year. The Find Your Own Magic Guided Self-Care Journal includes a mental health workbook that uses scientifically proven techniques to relieve anxiety, boost motivation, and light that happy, creative spark inside all of us. It also offers daily affirmations, meditations, and drawing practices. 

You can purchase the Find Your Own Magic Guided Self-Care Journal here

Humanist Beauty Herban Wisdom® Facial Oil and Eye Cream Set

Humanist Beauty Herban Wisdom® Facial Oil and Eye CreamThe Humanist Beauty Herban Wisdom® Facial Oil and Eye Cream are EWG Verified, Leaping Bunny Certified, and Carbon Neutral. These powerful skin treatments fuse together clean plant nutrients rich in antioxidant, adaptogenic, rejuvenating, and moisturizing properties. Both Herban Wisdom® products feature the ultra-moisturizing ingredient squalane, which has been proven to help with inflammation, along with many other natural ingredients that can offer exceptional benefits. 

You can shop the Humanist Beauty Herban Wisdom® Facial Oil and Eye Cream here.

Final Takeaway

With holiday shopping lurching closer, it’s no secret that thinking of clean, non-toxic gifts can be difficult. With this holiday gifting list, we hope that we’ve given you a little bit of extra inspiration and a new way of looking at the quest for clean beauty and self-care presents. It always feels good to give back while you’re giving forward. Happy holidays from the Humanist Beauty family!

Managing Stress During The Holiday Season

The holidays can be a time to take a breath, recharge, and reflect on the past twelve months. Ironically, though, the season can be the exact opposite for many people. According to a Healthline survey, 44% of people say that they are stressed during the holidays, with more than 18% reporting that they’re “very stressed.”1 Thankfully, there are ways to ease your stress through the holiday season. In this blog, we’ll explore how and why stress peaks during the holidays and some mindful ways you can reduce stress to be able to enjoy the season with calm and joy.

Exploring Holiday Stress

The American Psychological Association found that more people in the United States find their stress increases rather than decreases during the holiday season for a variety of reasons. Lack of money for gifts, lack of time to shop and cook, and the overwhelming commercialism and hype of the holiday season can all increase the amount of stress felt during the holidays.2

According to a recent survey of 2,000 adults that set out to explore stress and the holiday season, 77% of respondents said they have a hard time relaxing during the holidays and usually end up feeling more stressed and worn down than ever. 56% said that the extra financial strain brought on by the holidays is their biggest source of anxiety.3 

Others frequently mentioned that finding gifts for everyone (48%), stressful family events (35%), and putting up decorations (29%) led to their anxiety. All in all, 88% of respondents believe the holidays are the most stressful time of the year with 84% saying excessive feelings of stress start as early as November.4

Two in five respondents say they would rather stand in line at the DMV than deal with holiday stress. Similarly, one in five would rather sit beside a crying child on a long plane ride. Unfortunately, that stress makes it very difficult for many Americans to enjoy the holidays (49%); so much so that a third of respondents said they just don’t find happiness in the holidays anymore.5

Holiday Stress

Pictured: Holiday stress statistics    Source: SWNS Digital

Symptoms of Holiday Stress

For many individuals, the most common symptom of holiday stress is a persistent feeling of sadness that begins during or before the season. This recurring feeling may vary in duration and intensity with some feeling down periodically, but many claim they get small boosts of upbeat emotions throughout the season.

More signs of holiday stress may include:

  • Depressed or irritable mood
  • Changes in appetite or weight
  • Feeling tense, worried, or anxious
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Changes in sleep patterns
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
  • Feeling more tired than usual

Holiday Stress vs. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

Feeling stressed or upset during the holidays can also be a sign of seasonal affective disorder (SAD). SAD is a form of depressive disorder that occurs in seasonal patterns during certain months of the year. Holiday depression and SAD can be difficult to distinguish from one another, but the duration and severity of the symptoms are usually the clues.

Holiday Stress vs. SAD

Pictured: Holiday depression vs. SAD    source: Very Well Mind

If the holiday season passes and you’re still feeling depressed or anxious, talk to your doctor or a mental health professional to determine if what you are experiencing is a more significant mood disorder. Your doctor can assess your symptoms and determine a treatment that’s right for you.

Mindful Tips to Beat Holiday Stress

It’s absolutely possible to not only survive the holiday season but to even thrive and connect to your particular observance in a deeper and more profound way. Here are some of the most common stressors that present themselves this time of the year, along with mindful antidotes to help you enjoy the season:

Overwhelming Time Demands

Around the holidays, your schedule most likely fills up quickly with work and personal get-togethers. These back-to-back parties can often feel overwhelming as you try to juggle them with all of your other commitments. Additionally, you may feel pressed for time as you try to plan a holiday experience your family and friends will love. After all, a lot goes into a party.

Antidote: Treat yourself. You don’t have to say yes to everything. In reality, giving and giving without stopping is not an altruistic notion. Becoming aware of when you need to refuel allows time to re-energize and re-center. Self-care matters; you can treat yourself to a simple bath and a night of delicious takeout to let the holiday stress fade away. 

Expectations of Holiday Perfection

While it’s nice to take the time to create an aesthetically pleasing holiday experience, it’s easy to get caught up in a trap of perfection. Not only does this mindset make the holidays less joyful, but it also can set you up to experience disappointment. It’s important to remember that nothing is perfect; coming to this realization, along with finding your way to deal with it, can determine your well-being.

Antidote: Reflect on the meaning of the holidays. It’s easy to get caught up in the commercial version of what the holiday season means in modern times, but taking the time to reflect on what matters, whether it be tradition, spirituality, or religion, can help you keep your perspective as the year draws to a close. 

Holiday Loneliness

The pressure to please the people you love with gifts during the holiday season is ever-present. Instead of a joyful endeavor, gift-giving can easily become a chore causing many to feel down if they don’t receive something equally meaningful. Additionally, pressure can also manifest as you long to spend the holidays with those you love, creating feelings of loneliness.

Antidote: Donate your time to help those less fortunate. The holidays are a great time to practice the art of compassion and to think of others’ needs ahead of your own. You can use the time to give to and establish meaningful connections with those who may not have as much as you. Giving doesn’t necessarily have to be a physical or monetary gift; it can come in many forms like spending quality time or even a heartfelt message saying ‘I’m thinking of you.’

Stress and Family Anxiety

Family stress shows up in many ways. While there might be real difficulties surrounding the interpersonal dynamics of your family, it’s easy to get caught up in fuelling the fire rather than abating it. Most of the stress and anxiety around family is often anticipatory and based on not-so-pleasant past experiences, combined with the upcoming mix of different personalities. 

Antidote: Engage in gratitude. Take the time to step back and regard all that you have. Gratitude goes a long way when it comes to overall wellness, so, while in the midst of the holiday season tumult, try to re-center by consciously being grateful for the multiple aspects of this season, along with the loved ones that you’re blessed with.

Destress With The Humanist Beauty Herban Wisdom® Facial Oil

With the holidays coming up, a lot of us are feeling more stress and sensitivity, and of course, the emotions we feel have a way of showing up on our skin. That’s why we handcrafted the Herban Wisdom® Facial Oil to feel like a soothing sanctuary for weary, worried, vulnerable skin. Just a few drops incorporated into your self-caring ritual helps visibly recharge skin to appear calm and balanced. Here’s to feeling better and holiday cheer! 

 

How do you practice mindfulness during the holidays? Let us know in the comments.

 

References:

https://www.healthline.com/health-news/what-stresses-us-most-at-the-holidays-113015#2 [1]

https://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2006/12/holiday-stress.pdf [2]

https://studyfinds.org/jingle-bell-crock-88-of-americans-feel-the-holiday-season-is-most-stressful-time-of-year/ [3][4][5]