Tips for a (relatively) stress-free holiday season from the Rosslyn BID
Insights for surviving hectic holidays & finding your reason for the season, right here in Rosslyn.
The holidays are a time for family, friends, good food and fun; but they can also be a source of emotional, physical and mental stress. Whether you’re shopping for the impossible-to-please, hosting extended family, perfecting tricky recipes or coping with more virtual get-togethers—it can be difficult to prioritize self-care over the holidays.
Although we’re not experts, a few of us at the BID have put our heads together to share some of our personal favorite ways for beating the stress for a more enjoyable holiday season.
Make time for exercise
With the gravy and cocktails flowing and schedules filling up with parties, volunteer events, family time and busy workloads—exercise is often the first to get cut from the lineup. Victor Carcamo, Senior Operations Director for the Rosslyn BID and certified personal trainer (you might know him as Coach Vic from Rosslyn’s Boot Camp), believes that exercise is crucial to your mental wellbeing—regardless of the holidays.
“As a personal trainer, I get asked about stress relief a lot and exercise is always my first response,” Vic tells us. “It’s therapeutic in the way it reduces the body’s adrenaline and cortisol levels—the stress hormones—while releasing the good hormones, like endorphins. The key to stress relief is picking activities you actually enjoy so that you look forward to workouts, instead of dreading them."
There are a lot of stress-inducing logistics that go into a successful holiday season. Staying ahead of some of the common same-day disasters can help avoid headaches. Rosslyn BID Marketing & Communications Director, Nisha Patel, recommends some simple tips for planning ahead this holiday season.
“Know your local store hours, particularly on days that require a lot of last minute prep—like Thanksgiving,” Nisha says. “Then make sure to have a hydration station ready to help balance out the more festive drinks for your guests. Fill it with slices of cucumbers, lemons, frozen cranberries or whatever you like to make this lifesaver another part of the dinner party decor.”
Before your guests arrive, Nisha also suggests finding a quiet place in your home to take a few breaths alone if you start to feel the stress creep in. (Bonus points if your secret safe-space includes a wine stash!) Along the same vein, Vic also advises planning for some quiet time.
In the midst of all the planning (groceries, gifts, parties, etc.) it can be easy to forget the most important plans—the ones you make for yourself. Take a break from the screens to let your mind relax and give your eyes, and brain, a much needed break. This could mean five-minutes of meditation, a quiet lunch at one of Rosslyn’s restaurants, or even a little pampering with an appointment at PAINT Nail Bar.
Don’t forget to enjoy it
While it seems like a given, it can be easy to take this time with family and friends for granted. For some, the holiday celebrations might still be over video calls. If you’re lucky enough to have your loved ones with you this season, don’t forget to enjoy it! For Rob Rader, Rosslyn BID's Business Engagement Director, this means lots of football with the family. (For all you Ted Lasso fans, we’re talking American Football this time.)
“Football was always how my family dealt with the stress of Thanksgiving, whether that means playing or watching,” Rob tells us. “Getting a game together with neighbors has been a huge stress reliever for my family. I’ve continued the tradition with my son, niece and nephew and now it’s something I look forward to all year—so, weather permitting, get outside and get some fresh air!”
If football’s not your thing, there are plenty of ways to get out-and-about in the neighborhood for some fresh-air stress-relief. Take a walking tour of Rosslyn’s notable locations and show your out-of-town friends and family all the public art the neighborhood has to offer. Or, simply enjoy a stroll and a picnic of leftovers somewhere along Rosslyn’s 50+ acres of open park and outdoor spaces.
Whether you’re hosting the in-laws, throwing an extravagant “Friendsgiving,” volunteering for your favorite cause, or preparing for another Zoom holiday, this time of year can be as stressful as it is magical. We at the Rosslyn BID hope you remember to practice self-care this holiday season and take time to enjoy all the things that make this time of year so wonderful in this community.
Looking to stay busy this holiday season? Keep up with everything going on in the neighborhood with our event calendar.