The holidays aren’t easy for anyone. We want to think it’s all Michael Bublé and Mariah Carey songs with Elf playing in the background, but if you work in creative you know that it’s a lot of last-minute deadlines and Q4 budget pinching. Combine that with all of the holiday shopping you’ve yet to get around to and you’ll be stressed to the max. Check out our three tips on how to beat the stress this season.

1. Work it Out

Get you and your booty to a gym! Most gyms and wellness centers have discounts this time of year, if you aren’t already a member. This suggestion has nothing to do with New Year’s resolutions and everything to do with how satisfying it feels to move your body after a stressful day of sitting at your desk. Going to the gym for a workout is a great way to sweat out all of the stress from your day and take some time for yourself. All of the work you do on your body can also increase your happiness. Going to the gym may not only increase your self-confidence, but it also increases endorphins, which also put a smile on your face. Beyond that, it helps boost your immune system, which can save you a trip to the pharmacy and allow you to save your sick days.

2. Meditate

Meditation is a great way to distress and you don’t have to be in yoga pants on a mat at a fancy eucalyptus-smelling yoga studio to do it. There is a reason why this mindfulness practice has been around for centuries and why it’s coming back in a bit way. There are tons of apps out there these days that can help you delve into your inner self for guidance and peace—whether you’re on the subway, sitting at your desk, or riding the elevator. (We do discourage you from trying this while driving.) Check out apps like Headspace, Meditation Studio, Simple Habit, or Calm. If you know of an app that isn’t listed, please let us know which we should be checking out!

3. Give Back

Beyond stress that comes from the holiday season, there are many people out there who are stressed for other reasons, possibly relating to basic survival, like not having enough food or adequate shelter. A great way to encourage the feel-good-warm-fuzzies is to dedicate your time giving back to a cause you care about. Whether it’s volunteering at a food shelter, nursing home, hospital, or other venue, there are many cause-based organizations that seek your help this time of year.

Before you look into volunteering—make sure to check in with your team’s Human Resources team. Many companies now offer their employees one of more days off to contribute to the community. Ask your team to find out how you can give back.

At the end of the year, the holiday season typically tends to win over the general population and succeeds in stressing us all out—but it doesn’t have to. Take initiative and try utilizing the 3 steps above to lighten your load this holiday season. Let us know how it goes and if you learn anything about yourself along the way!


Allison is a former Creative Circle Account Executive, with a background in creative writing, content writing/strategy, publishing, and business development. Her world revolves around words and the relationships and interactions they inspire. Allison is now the Content Specialist at Raizlabs, a design and development firm in Boston and San Francisco.