The Pampered Guide to Surviving the Holidays


Why is it that the “most wonderful time of the year” morphs into the most stressful time of the year—without fail—winter after winter? We’ll give you a hint: not enough me time. Because when you take time to pamper yourself, you can be more present for everyone around you. If you’re thinking, “Easier said than done,” read on for 5 ways to survive the holidays:

The scenario: You’re traveling for the holidays

As if winter driving conditions, long airport security lines, and delayed flights weren’t stressful enough, you’re also taking yourself out of your comfort zone when you travel. Even if you’re going home and sleeping in your old twin bed, it’s not really your bed anymore, is it? And if you’re traveling with kids (did Ella remember to pack enough underwear?), or introducing a new significant other to the fam, it adds to the code-red level of anxiety you’re already dealing with.

The solution: Bring your routines on the road

Whether you pack your yoga mat and schedule a class at a local studio, bring along your Posh skincare routine and a pampering face mask, or stash a bag of coffee beans in your carry-on (because the nearest Starbucks® to your parents’ house is two towns over), sticking to your daily habits as much as possible helps keep you grounded—and you’re less likely to come home from your vacation feeling like you need a vacation. Find more tips for traveling pampered here.

The scenario: You’re hosting family for the holidays

Oh, joy! Everyone is coming to your house for Christmas! Which means groceries to buy, meals to plan (your sister-in-law is vegan AND gluten-free), making sure the air mattress doesn’t have a leak… When you’re hosting, it’s hard not to feel like you’re personally responsible for making sure all your guests have an amazing holiday, even at the expense of your own.

The solution: Schedule solo time

Too much togetherness can turn family bonding into family bondage. Salvage this by leaving room in the schedule for everyone to enjoy some downtime. Let your guests know when you’ll be cooking and what activities are planned, then let everyone do their own thing the rest of the time. Maybe this means lending them your car to buy their own groceries, leaving a puzzle on the table and snacks in the fridge, or gifting them some pampering Posh for their own me time. Don’t forget to use this time to pamper yourself too.

The scenario: Too many people on your shopping list

Coworkers, kids’ teachers, friends, family, neighbors… your shopping list may have started small, but then gifts started pouring in from people you hadn’t considered, and now you feel like you have to shop for them too. So now you’re stressed about what to get, when to find time to shop, and how to fit all these present into your already maxed-out Christmas budget.

The solution: Don’t give gifts

Seriously. Don’t do it. If you’ve already shopped for your nearest and dearest, call it a day. Have you ever baked something for a neighbor or given a gift to a coworker and then felt bad that they didn’t get you anything back? Chances are the answer is no, because you’re an adult and you know the holidays are about more than presents. So don’t guilt yourself into thinking you need to overspend or scramble to find last-minute gifts for every single person in your life. Thank them, find ways to show them your appreciation the other 364 days of the year, and move on!

The scenario: Too many holiday parties

You know the drill: you had planned on this finally being the year you would get a jump on the holidays so you could focus on relaxing with friends and family, but your calendar is so full of parties, plays, cookie exchanges, and dinners that there are literally no free nights between now and the new year.

The solution: Prioritize and RSVP regrets

Take an inventory of the people most important to you (you’re allowed to include yourself on this list) and only attend holiday events that put them front and center. Instead of dragging your spouse to your company Christmas party, skip it and hit the ice rink for a wintery date night; attend your kids’ school play but pass on the neighborhood cookie exchange in favor of a bubble bath and a glass of wine. A simple, “Thanks for the invite, I’m happy you thought of me, but I’ve committed to other plans,” ought to suffice. If anyone feels bad about you not attending, they’ll get over it.

The scenario: The holidays are an emotional time this year

If you’ve recently lost a loved one, gone through a breakup, or have had historically rough holidays, the thought of putting on a happy face and going through the motions of celebrating Christmas brings anything but tidings of comfort and joy. In fact, you don’t even want to put up a tree this year, and every Hallmark® holiday movie you see on tv kinda makes you want dry heave.

The solution: Start new traditions

Things in your life have changed, so can your traditions. A turkey dinner at mom’s might not be happening this year, but she loved Italian, so make lasagne for Christmas dinner instead. Maybe you’re alone this holiday, and you want to binge watch all the Die Hard movies while eating Chinese takeout. Maybe seasonal depression gets you down, so you skip the pine trees and eggnog in favor of palm trees and margaritas. Honor your feelings, check in with yourself daily, and let Christmas evolve with you.

Pinterest be damned; the fact is, real-life holidays aren’t perfect, but they’re a lot more enjoyable when you make room for a little me time. How do you stay pampered during the holidays?