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5 Simple Ways to Destress This Holiday Season
by Sarah Major

No matter how much you look forward to the Christmas holidays, once you throw into the mix all the special things you do to make it special for the family, you do add a layer of stress to an otherwise special time. From decorating to cleaning to gift wrapping to cooking – this is on top of all your regular care for your family.

I’m a mother myself and know first-hand how easy it is to get so wrapped up in care giving that I neglect taking care of myself! So I thought my gift to you this season would be some quickie ideas to help you care for yourself at the same time you are creating a wonderful holiday experience for your family and friends!

1. Keep a jar of Spiced Tea Mix at the ready.

Because it is really difficult to rush around holding a hot cup of tea, you will be forced to sit down and hopefully put your feet up for as long as it takes you to enjoy your cup of tea. Add to that the scent of cinnamon and cloves and you will have created a quick and easy time out for yourself. Make extra to gift your family and friends!

Here’s the recipe:

1 c. instant tea
14 oz. Tang
1 tsp. ground cloves
2 tbsp. cinnamon
1 cup sugar
1 pkg. lemon flavored Kool Aid

Mix all dry ingredients well. Use 2 tbsp. of mixture for 1 cup of hot water
2. Take time out for a hot bath just before bed:

While the water is running, throw in a cup of the bath salts. While you are in the tub, read a chapter of your favorite mindless novel or just lie back, close your eyes and just breathe deeply and slowly.


8 cups Epsom Salt
2 cups Baking Soda
10-15 drops Lavender Essential Oil

Store in a glass jar.

3. Take a brisk walk

I am famous for feeling like I cannot take the time to go for a good walk. I can find so many other things I should be doing. However, as a mom with my children still at home, those times I took out to take a walk completely transformed my outlook on a lot of things. I walked when I needed time to think through how I would handle a situation with my teen aged son, I walked when I was upset (and prayed out loud while I walked), I walked when I felt very stressed and needed to relax. And every single time, the act of taking the time   for walking, considering, and praying served me well.

4. Do a hot water foot soak:

To prepare for this pleasurable experience, gather your items together while the water is boiling on the stove: two fluffy towels, dishpan, foot scrub, lotion, book (or music playing softly), and an aromatic candle to burn. Place one towel on the floor in front of your favorite chair, put the dishpan on top of it, light the candle, play the music, and when the water is hot, pour some into your dishpan. Let your feet soak in water as hot as you can stand. When they are all pruny, scrub them with the foot scrub, rinse, and dry with the other fluffy towel. Finish by applying your favorite lotion.

5. Connect back to something you always loved doing before life got so busy:

All of us have activities we love. For me it was making things; knitting, crocheting, quilting, painting, crafting, and the like. While those things might seem beside the point once we have children to nurture and care for, I believe that they continue to be just as important. Think of it: just as our children were created with special gifts, abilities, and skills, so are we. What we found rewarding and satisfying to do in our more carefree days should still figure into our lives. Take a few minutes on a regular basis to keep those interests alive. Children can learn from our example that it is a good thing to keep our interests going. It is a matter of keeping balance in life – a balance between work and activities that nurture us.

To all of you - a wonderful and rewarding holiday season, and may 2018 be filled with blessing and joy!
Sarah Major, CEO of Child1st Publications, grew up on the mission field with her four siblings, all of whom her mother homeschooled. As an adult, Sarah has homeschooled a small group of children in collaboration with their parents, and has taught from preschool age to adult. Sarah has been the Title 1 director and program developer for grades K-7, an ESOL teacher, and a classroom teacher. As an undergraduate student, Sarah attended Wheaton College in Wheaton, Ill. and then received her M.Ed. from Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, MI. In 2006 Sarah resigned from fulltime teaching in order to devote more time to Child1st, publisher of the best-selling SnapWords™ stylized sight word cards. In her spare time Sarah enjoys gardening, cooking, pottery, quilting, and spending time with her family.

Child1st Publications, LLC