We know what you're thinking right now: This is it, this is the year that you get a head start on the holidays. You're gonna be finished with your shopping by lunchtime today, you'll roll into every party with a made-from-scratch dessert, and you'll even find a way to relax between now and the end of December.
But this season never works like that, does it? In three weeks, you'll be frantically searching your house for anything that you can wrap up for your niece, and wondering whether a 4-year-old will appreciate a roll of super-absorbent paper towels. You will bake exactly zero cookies, but you will learn how to arrange gas-station donuts so they look like, uh, neatly arranged gas-station donuts. And as for that "finding a way to relax" thing? Well... that one you can do.
Yes, the holidays are exhausting, but that doesn't mean they have to wear you down completely. It takes a little bit of planning ahead to ensure you have time to chill, but we promise it's worth it.
Get good sleep
The biggest, most important thing is getting enough sleep. If you try to get a solid eight hours every night (and yes, we said e-i-g-h-t hours) you'll be better equipped to handle family dinners, unexpected houseguests, and the general running around of the season.
It sounds like a no-brainer, but having the right bed is key. The Zinus Cooling Gel Memory Foam Mattress (from $172—and yes, we said o-n-e h-u-n— you get the idea) has cooling foam that keeps you comfortable all night while its top layer of gel contours to your body to resist body heat. We were actually really impressed with the cooling gel. We love memory foam, but it's usually so hot; the cooling gel lets you get all the same cush without waking up covered in sweat.
The mattress pairs well with the Zinus Upholstered Button Tufted Wingback Platform Bed Frame (from $205) to create a sleek, uncluttered sleep-space. It comes in one box and took us—and by "us" we mean the single person who assembled it—20 minutes to put it together. We love how it made the room a little more refined.
Your calendar for the next month is probably more cluttered than your neighbor's front yard (how many inflatable neon snowmen does one person need?) but you need to schedule some downtime for yourself, too. You don't have to spend every minute of the holidays standing politely beside a punch bowl, listening to semi-strangers talk about real estate. Take at least one night each week to spend with yourself. Make some tea and start that book you bought, like, two summers ago. Start watching that much-hyped TV show before you accidentally read the spoilers. Or just stretch out and pet your dog for an hour. (Maybe even allow in-bed cuddles, just this once.)
This is also a great time to introduce a self-care routine—whatever "self-care" means to you. Maybe it's lighting some scented candles on your Zinus Modern Studio Nightstand (it's $39), pulling your eye mask down, and trying that meditation app you've never opened. Maybe it's doing a long(ish) run or taking the yoga class that you've put off for the past few days... er... weeks. Or maybe it's burning some incense to try to shake that Grinchy feeling you just don't need right now.
It's amazing what being well-rested, relaxed, and grounded can do for your holiday vibe. It can't make those gas station donuts look any better on a plate, but at least you won't be as stressed about it.
This post is sponsored by Zinus and was created by the Apartment Therapy Creative Studio.
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