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Holiday shopping: How to relax after braving the mall

Holiday shopping take its toll on you? Destress with these fun and relaxing activities.


After a long day battling crowds of holiday shoppers, take some time to rest and relax.

Angela Lang/CNET
This story is part of Holiday Survival Guide 2019, featuring tips on the best ways to manage the holiday season.

There's just something special about the holidays: People seem happier and more generous, the weather feels nicer and everything looks a little brighter. But with all the holiday cheer comes loads of holiday shopping, which can seriously take a toll on mind and body.

Black Friday brings out the crowds with doorbuster deals, and Cyber Monday follows with hectic limited-time online sales. 

Next time you leave the mall feeling drained from the massive crowds of people, indulge yourself in one of these relaxing, oh-so-soothing self-care activities. And here's our complete guide to surviving Thanksgiving 2019, amid all the hectic craziness of family and food.

Read more: Soothe vs. Zeel: Which on-demand massage service is best?

1. Take a bath or hot shower

Go ahead. Run a bath and make it all pretty for Instagram. You deserve to take the bath and show off the meticulously placed rose petals, bubbles and glass of wine you won't touch until you get the photo. Add a face mask or your favorite book for extra self-care points. 

2. Go for a run or lift weights

There's no shortage of proof that exercise makes us happier. Moving your body releases all sorts of feel-good endorphins that improve your mood, and the act itself makes you feel strong, fit and productive. Some experts even say exercise can make us smarter, so head out on that next sweat sesh knowing that you might just come away with a better plan for next year's holiday shopping.

3. Get outside

If hitting the gym is the last thing you want to do after battling hordes of holiday shoppers (no shame in that), consider getting outside for an easy hike or walk. Spending some time in nature can chill you out and help you decompress. Really -- forest bathing is a thing, and you should try it.


Doesn't this look serene? Getting outside to a quiet, green space can help you wind down after a long bout of holiday shopping.

Getty Images

4. Take a nap

Sometimes, all you need (or want) is a good nap. An afternoon snooze, if taken correctly, can recharge you for a happy and productive evening. 

5. Make a cozy drink

Hot cocoa, a homemade latte, warm herbal tea… Whichever suits your fancy, a steaming cup of something tasty can erase feelings of stress and anxiousness. Light a candle and curl up on the couch with a weighted blanket for ultimate coziness. 

6. Paint, draw or knit

Express your feelings creatively. Painting, drawing, knitting and other creative endeavors can help you let off some steam, plus you end up with a creation you can be proud of!

woman knitting red and cream-colored stocking for the holidays

Letting your creative juices flow is super therapeutic, and you'll end up with something awesome that you made.

Getty Images

7. Meditate

Meditation is known to reduce stress and anxiety, alleviate depression and improve sleep and memory. Some research even suggests that meditation can improve physical ailments, including pain and high blood pressure -- two more reasons to ohm and ahh for a few moments after holiday shopping.  

8. Turn on your diffuser

Essential oils certainly smell nice, and the right scent may help you wind down after a long day of pushing carts. A beautifully designed essential oil diffuser makes it all the more exciting.  

9. Bake some holiday goodies

Who doesn't love a Santa-shaped sugar cookie? Chances are you and all your family and friends do love holiday cookies. Baking offers a productive and creative way to get your mind off of holiday stress, so whip up a batch of goodies to share with friends and family (or to eat yourself, we're not judging you).

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.