December 12, 2022

Do The Holidays Throw You Off Balance? 5 Practices That’ll Keep You Centered

Image by Sophia Hsin / Stocksy

December 12, 2022

Whether it’s your friend’s annual holiday party, heartfelt family-time, or securing the perfect gifts for your favorite people… There are plenty of reasons to love the holidays. But somehow—the things that bring us joy this time of year, are also the things that can throw us off balance. Research even confirms the conundrum: During the holiday season, Americans report feeling positive emotions of happiness, love, and high spirits. But at the same time, 38% feel their stress levels rise. It has us thinking: What if this year could be different? 

Practice staying centered this holiday.

Ending the year feeling calm, cool, and collected may sound like a holiday miracle, but miracles do happen when we start penciling in self-care. Taking care of our mind and body is usually the first thing to go, but the thing that would help us most. Whether that means enjoying a run in a new pair of kicks from Zappos, or sipping on a soothing herbal tea blend—staying centered is easier than you think. To prove it to you, we’ve rounded up some simple but effective practices for finding (and keeping) balance. 

1. Run it out.

This time of year, our mile-long todo lists tend to replace the miles we love to run. But studies1 have proven that running it out has positive benefits for our mental health. Newer animal studies even indicate that running can counteract the negative impacts of chronic stress2, like the effect it has on learning and memory. In other words, sticking with (or starting) a running routine can keep you centered both physically and mentally.

Schedule in a *consistent* number of runs per week—but make sure you’re dressed for success. As their most popular daily trainer, the Brooks Ghost 15 is ready to be your new favorite running shoe. Whether you’re planning on an easy jog, a sweat-dripping run, or even a walk (to get out of the house for a sec), this all-levels running shoe is famous for comfort and stability. Plus—like music to your ears this time of year—these kicks are as affordable as they are reliable.

Image by Zappos / Contributor


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2. Wake up 15 minutes earlier.

We know… This time of year you need all the rest you can get—but hear us out. While 15 minutes of less sleep likely won’t break your sleep score, it could make your day. Once you’re up and at ‘em, use this extra time to practice some self-care. Take a hot shower, read something inspirational, or make an extra-special hot drink (like this Rose Quartz Latte!). By greeting the day with self-care, you fill your own cup before spending the rest of the day filling others’. 

3. Get your daily dose of Mother Nature.

Even if it’s cold outside—try to clock some time in nature each and every day. Studies3 have shown that spending more time in outdoor spaces can reduce the experience of stress—and even more so if the terrain is green. But how much time is the right amount of time? Research4 indicates about 120 minutes a week (think about a 20-minute walk, six days a week!). So bundle up, slip on those Brooks Ghost 15, and let that fresh air pull you back to center.

4. Sip on soothing herbal blends.

Staying centered during the holiday season is no easy feat—which is why we need support wherever we can find it. Center yourself from the inside-out with the support of calming herbs. Lavender, chamomile, passionflower, calendula, and rose are all herbs that are famous for supporting the nervous system. Look for a relaxing tea blend, and make cozying up with a warm cup of tea your new holiday ritual.


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5. Stay on top of your nutrition.

We tend to eat healthily as a way to keep our body functioning at its best—but eating healthily benefits our mind just as much. Research has found that people who eat more fruits and vegetables tend to have lower stress levels. The holidays are infamous as a time of extra sugar and indulgence… Is the fact that they’re also the most stressful time of year a coincidence? We think not. (Psst—here are dozens of healthy recipes you can throw into the mix this holiday.) 

Find your balance.

Imagine a holiday season that isn’t characterized by stress or feeling perpetually behind-the-ball. This time of year should be about enjoying quality time with loved ones, our favorite traditions, and a little giving and receiving. When we’re centered, we can do these things with more presence, energy, and joy. And when centering entails scoring the perfect running shoes from Zappos or taking a scenic walk in nature—who knows… Finding balance might be the greatest gift you give yourself this year.


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