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12 Days of Sophie: How to Avoid Holiday Stress

Welcome to the first of 12 holiday posts here on the blog! I will be posting once every other day in lead up to Christmas with my own personal tips and stories relating to this time of year. I hope this provides a little more insight into my own personality as I do sometimes feel like there is a gap between myself and what I post on the blog. Fashion inspiration can be found anywhere, so I hope my blog is more than just that, and that people read it for my own personality and perspective as a young adult in design design school, trying to figure life out while pursuing a personal interest in fashion. Life right now seems to be all over the place, and I'd love to share my ride through it.

It happened again the other day – another panic attack. After being in therapy for about a year now and now I thought I was done with them, and with the intensity of the attack, I was taken aback. Unfortunately, this is a stressful time of the year with finals approaching and season changes (anyone else suffer from seasonal depression?). To add onto that, the holiday season is near. Therefore, I decided to talk a little bit about a subject that I believe is incredibly important to creating a sustainable lifestyle (an no it's not just about managing time better).

Tip 1: Get Outside (I know it’s cold)

Whenever I feel stressed, I love spending days in my room. However, whenever I manage to get out, even if it is just to go back inside another building, I never feel as exhausted as I expect to feel. In fact, I feel rejuvenated and accomplished. Some good ways to get out of the house is to go skiing, ice skating, or Christmas shopping.

Tip 2: Shop Smart

Shopping for friends is one of my favorite parts of the holidays. I spend a fair amount of time shopping both online and in store for the perfect gifts. My recommendation for tackling gift giving is to come up with a list of people and potential gifts. I love online shopping on Amazon and other websites because you can find unique gifts for prices within your budget. Make yourself some hot chocolate and play some season music to immerse yourself in the season. While there is more selection online that visiting shops, there are a few places I tend to always manage to find gifts. Lily Rain, Barnes and Noble, and Rock, Paper, Scissors (located in Charlottesville) are some of my personal favorites.

Tip 3: Set a Date to Decorate

Setting a date for bringing your home into the season helps eliminate the stress and guilt of taking time out of your busy schedule to decorate and provides an opportunity to enjoy your time decorating. I recommend playing your favorite holiday music and inviting friends and family to come help.

Tip 4: Care for Yourself

Because the fall/wintertime can be stressful, it’s so important to take care of yourself, so you can manage your own time and energy better. Maybe have a movie night at home and do a hydrating face mask or buy yourself chocolate when you’re

out shopping. Now is the perfect opportunity to be kind to yourself because we all know how damaging long, busy weeks can be (here is a list of tips by Very Well Mind that I thought were helpful for me).

Tip 5: Set Boundaries with Family

When family or friends come into town, it can be hard to say no to spending time with them. However, listening to your feelings can help give a sense of when it might be beneficial to spend time alone. That way, when you are spending time with loved ones, you actually value and enjoy the time you have (you can find some more tips on this topic here).

Thanks for taking the time to read my first 25 Days of Sophie post! I'm going to take a minute to break down my look seeing as this is a fashion blog. For this post, I wanted to share a look where I explore layering and basics. This is my all time favorite coat (that unfortunately I can't link because it's several years old, but it is from Banana Republic). I love the clean lines and classic style of the coat. Underneath, I layered a thin turtle neck shirt with my mom's ivory sweater on top to give the illusion of a sweater turtle neck. I matched the look with a pair of classic Banana Republic ankle length skinny jeans and old Steve Madden heels to keep the look classic and simple.

I hope your first of December has been magical, and I will have some new content to share in just another two days. Be sure to subscribe to my newsletter to keep updated!

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