Here you are, right in the middle of the holiday season and there is a high probability that you are stressed. You have family members and friends that want your time and attention (they may even have the gall to expect presents). You have a boss that has some pretty high expectations too!

And, don’t forget your guests. Travelers and others have higher expectations during the holidays than at any other time. Why? They want everything to be perfect! The perfect meal, the perfect service, the perfect hotel room or event experience. They’re creating memories, and darn it, they want them to be good ones!

So, here are some quick, quirky ideas to help you de-stress….

Wave a sprig of rosemary. The smell of rosemary can lift your spirits and give you an extra bit of “get up and go!” More specifically, rosemary essential oil will give you a boost of energy and help you feel refreshed and mentally focused. No rosemary sprigs? No worries. Walmart carries a rosemary essential oil roll-on. NOTE: another widely accepted oil for stress relief is lavender. Walmart carries a roll-on for this one too!

Take a walk with a rock. A walk in fresh air—even a short one—will help you refocus. But while you walk, pick up a tiny stone and put it in your pocket, telling yourself that every time you touch it, you’ll be reminded to stop and simply breathe. Carry it with you throughout the holidays. Of course, any pebble you find on the ground will work perfectly, but for an extra calming experience, you may want to order stones from Amazon or Etsy. Rose quartz, blue lace agate and Amazonite have traditionally been thought to influence a calm state. Tiny gift idea—pick up extras for your co-workers and family members!

Give someone a hug. Studies have shown that a kind gentle touch can actually lower one’s blood pressure. I’d say get a massage, but you might not have time. Just hug someone. They’ll hug you back. You’re good to go.

Smile at yourself in the mirror. Don’t just check to make sure you don’t have a piece of spinach or something in your teeth. Give yourself a big, teeth-showing grin. We all have heard that it takes more muscles to frown than it takes to smile, so give those glowering muscles a rest. Plus, smiling may actually help one release happiness-producing endorphins, remind us of pleasant memories, and even reduce pain. Now go out there and infect everyone you see with smile syndrome (smiling is contagious you know).

Practice your power pose. Amy Cuddy promoted the power pose in her TED Talk titled, “Your body language may shape who you are.” To do this, simply stand with your feet a shoulder-width apart, place your hands on your hips, hold your head up and look straight ahead. The media has dubbed this the “Superwoman pose,” so you should get the idea. Cuddy’s research shows that standing like this for at least two minutes will actually change the chemistry in your body, making you feel more powerful and success-worthy. 

Find a Doterra Representative. Doterra’s Peppermint Beadlets are amazing. They’re as tiny as the head of a pin and contain peppermint essential oil. Pop one or two of these in your mouth, experience the explosion of peppermint taste and go on about your business. In just a few minutes you’ll realize that your shoulders are no longer attached to your ears, your teeth aren’t clenched and your hands are open and swaying as you walk, not bundled into fists. Yes, just amazing.

Give someone a compliment. It makes a person feel good to make another person feel good. Enough said.

Pat yourself on the back. Literally. Just reach over your shoulder and give yourself a good pat, reaching as far down your back as possible. Then do it with the other hand. Then pat yourself by reaching around behind your back, once with each hand. Then do a routine: over shoulder left, over-shoulder right, behind back left, behind back right. Repeat! Not quite yoga, but it’s close. You stretched. You breathed (hopefully). You maybe even giggled (you looked pretty silly, you know).

Pay attention to your feet. Just take a few minutes and commune with your toes (and your arches and your ankles). Twist, stretch, flex. Your feet will thank you.

Flirt with a ficus. You may have read a lot recently about how plants “exhale” oxygen and help purify the air. But just talking to a plant—complimenting it on its gorgeous greenness or its new leaves—may leave you feeling better. Plants like to be petted and even slightly shaken. And if you feel ridiculous doing this and start laughing, all the better.

Happy holidays to you and yours. May it be everything you wish it to be!

Excerpted from a post on Steamy Side of Vegas, Living the Spa Life, Gael’s blog, November 20, 2019.