Tips for Relaxation and Self-Care Over the Holidays

For a time of year that’s supposed to be all about peace and joy, we spend an awful lot of our energy in November and December just running around.

When the pre-Thanksgiving Christmas music on the radio starts to get to you … when you’re stuck in a mini-traffic jam trying to find a parking place for the school pageant … when the need to squeeze one more thing onto your weekend calendar makes your blood pressure spike, it’s time to stop. Pause. Breathe. And do a little self-care.

Turn off the noise, step away, and take a deep, cleansing breath that fully fills your lungs. Then let it out slowly. Take a moment to appreciate what a gift it is to be alive, to breathe, and to have this time of year to pause and enjoy our homes, the season, and the people we care about.

Taking the time to care for yourself right now really, really matters. Here are a few of our tips for how to give yourself a little extra dose of care and comfort to reduce stress and increase your enjoyment of this special time of year:

Comfort your eyes with candlelight

With online work, school, shopping, socializing, reading, and entertainment, our eyes are just plain tired. This stress gets worse in winter, when we have fewer opportunities to be outside and gaze at the horizon—and when we may be more likely to curl up on the couch with a screen. To re-focus, turn off the lights and light a candle. Let your eyes relax. There is extensive research around the calming effects of light and meditation and how powerful it is to give your eyes and brain a candlelight break. Even just a few minutes with candlelight can help recharge your creativity and energy…but we recommend taking it a step further. Eat dinner by candlelight, light a candle in the bathroom as you get ready for bed, light one in the entryway to welcome family members home in the evening.

Our exclusive Italian collection offers an elegant and timeless candle to elevate every mood, from a calming Mediterranean breeze via Lorenzo Villoresi or a hint of exotic pomegranate from Ortigia Sicilia.

Pamper your skin

Dry, cold-weather skin can leave your skin and your spirit feeling sapped. Make sure to give yourself the extra moisture you need as the temperature drops, and think about treating yourself to a whole new, invigorating routine. The Jet Set Regimen from Borghese brings a bunch of their super-luxurious mud masks and cleansers into one sleek package, perfect to take on the road for holiday travel or to brighten up your mornings at home. And we always recommend cocktailing a little Perlier Hemp Oil into your body lotion or conditioner for an added glow. If you haven’t tried the regenerating masks and firming body creams from Terra Biocare by B&C, mix them into your routine for a little extra treatment at the time of year when your skin needs it most.

Surround yourself with scents that soothe you

 Scent can instantly lift your mood, and it’s an essential part of creating spaces that help you feel relaxed and at home, even while you’re traveling. Just by adding a scented candle, diffuser, potpourri, or any form of home fragrance to a room, you can trigger feelings of joy, relaxation, focus, or calm.

We recommend incorporating stimulating scents into every element of your daily routine. Use home fragrance to make your bathroom smell amazing when you enter it in the morning – and to welcome you home with your favorite scents at night. Touch your signature scent on your neck and behind your knees in the morning, and soak in gorgeous-smelling bath salts before bed.

For this time of year, we love the bergamot, jasmine, and orange top notes on the musky and woody base of the Arte dei Giudici e Notai Home Fragrance, with its heart of rose, patchouli and ginger. The Acqua Di Bolgheri Cipresso Nobile Diffuser carries the breath of fresh mountain air and old growth forests. And the orange blossom drawer sachets from Ortigia Sicilia are great to stuff into stockings as well as to brighten musty winter closets and drawers.

Treat yourself to the good stuff

We all have that box of gift soaps tucked away in the bathroom drawer that are just too pretty use. Well, now is the time to use them. Like the good china, these things are meant to be enjoyed…not preserved for some potential, long-awaited visit by the Queen. Pull out those fancy bath salts, the most luxurious skin creams, the bottle of your most fabulous perfume and make them part of your holiday ritual…a little gift you give yourself every day throughout the season. And make it extra special with some of our favorites:

    Take a bath

    And not just any bath…follow our seven-step guide to the perfect Italian bath and you’ll feel relaxed from head to toe.

      These little self-care rituals can make the difference between a holiday season that’s fun and rewarding and one that’s way more stressful than it needs to be. Sure, that Christmas tree you ordered might be stuck somewhere along the global supply chain until February, but everything you need to make the holidays special is contained within you and those you love. And taking care of you can make all the difference.