Even just the word “stress” is stressful to hear; it’s a lingering feeling that is far too familiar to all of us, and sadly, it creeps up on us when we least expect it.

Cortisol, the hormone produced by stress, has been proven to reduce your “Happy Hormones”, including dopamine and serotonin. So if you find yourself feeling stressed around the holidays, like many of us do, know that you’re not alone, even during the “most wonderful time of the year.”

Here are a few simple ways to kick those feelings to the curb, so you can enjoy all that the holiday season has to offer!

Take a Spa Day

Taking time to relax and focus on you is essential when it comes to keeping yourself sane around the holidays. Take some time for yourself and stop by our day resort to experience the far away feeling you’ve been craving. Sweat out all your negative emotions in our eucalyptus-infused steam rooms and saunas, enjoy a cocktail on our aqua terrace and book yourself to enjoy a massage or body treatment. Having a day of relaxation on the calendar may give you a little something to look forward to, too.

Oil Up

Add aromatherapy to your deep breathing routine for some natural aid when things get rough. Oils such as lavender and rose have been proven to take the edge off. Stop into La Boutique at Spa Mirbeau Crossgates, and our staff will work with you to help find the best aromatherapy strategy for you.

Breathe Deep

Using deep breathing exercises to help promote relaxation can help ease the emotional and physical tensions that come along with the holidays. When you find yourself falling into negative thoughts, set aside twenty minutes to unplug from all electronics and devote yourself to focus on your breathing. You’ll find yourself feeling renewed and rejuvenated with each breath.


When you’re feeling depressed, often times the last thing you want to do is hit the gym. But one of the best ways to give you a needed boost is to sweat the stress out. Exercise produces endorphins, another hormone known for making you “feel happy.” Add a little “happy” to your daily routine, and stop by our fitness studio, whether it’s for a spin class, yoga class or to sweat it out in our weight room.

Laugh, Laugh and Laugh Some More

You may have heard the saying, “laughter is the best medicine.” But that light chuckle you may pull out every now and again out of politeness won’t do the trick. That deep, belly-wrenching laugh from deep inside is just what you need to boot negative emotions. Surround yourself with light-hearted people, and plan a night out with your funniest friends over a few bottles of wine.

De-Stress your Shopping List

Generosity is one of the most beautiful aspects of the holidays and definitely one we should all embrace. You can take loads of stress out of your shopping list without removing the generous sentiment by opting for easier, less time-intensive gift ideas. For example, instead of making your favorite homemade triple-layer cream cheese frosting-filled quadruple-layer red velvet cakes for your kid’s class, stop by a local bakery and send some pre-made cakes to school. The kids will appreciate it just as much!