The holiday season can be magical. But it can also feel relentless, especially if you’re hosting. Between Halloween costumes and Thanksgiving centerpieces and vacuuming a never-ending trail of pine needles, you’ll need a break from what can feel like an endless cycle of chores.
So take a deep breath and read these stories of self-care, aromatherapy and pest control (yes, pest control) to help you stay sane when the holidays hit.
The Secret to Stress-Free Eating
Face it. Holiday food is heavy and you’re going to be eating a lot of it. Get your gut in fighting shape with these tips from the nutrition experts at Byrdie. From steaming rather than frying, to staying hydrated and avoiding teflon (ditch the toxins and try cast-iron instead), these fixes will help get your stomach ready for the coming months of stuffing and casserole.
We especially love this suggestion from personal trainer/wellness coach (and Top Pro) Kaitlyn Noble: Try removing common allergens such as gluten and dairy from your diet for a week. If you see a real difference in your skin or stomach, start thinking about alternatives such as brown rice starch and nut milks. If nothing changes, reintroduce. You’re one of the lucky ones.
Make Your Own Natural Lip Balm (In Two Steps!)
Get back to self-care basics with this natural lip balm recipe. With only two ingredients—calamintha-infused olive oil and beeswax—Sunset Magazine’s salve is as easy to make as it is to enjoy. Use the balm on your lips at night to hydrate while you sleep, and try it out on traditional dry zones including your elbows, knees and hands.
If you have some festive gift bags lying around—and a friend or two that you forgot to shop for—try handing them out as holiday gifts. Because who wants chapped lips?
Bed Bugs Be Gone
The key to making it through the holidays in one piece: sleep. The enemy of a full night’s sleep: bed bugs. Luckily, Refinery29 is here to help with these easy steps for keeping your home pest-free, featuring Thumbtack pest control experts Mark and Jen Winters.
Hot tip: your clothing dryer is your best friend—and your bed bugs’ worst enemy. It takes seven to ten days for bed bugs to hatch, so even if you don’t wash your sheets every single week, tossing them in the dryer (at high heat) will kill any bugs, while giving your sheets a good fluff.
DIY Scents for a Refreshing Homecoming
Ditch the trip to Bath & Body Works with PureWow’s 10 DIY scent recipes for all-natural concoctions that work in every room in the house. So oven-dry some potpourri for your entryway table, sprinkle some homemade lavender carpet powder in your bedroom, and hang a bundle of eucalyptus from the showerhead in the guest bathroom. Because why wait for the guests to arrive to make your home smell good?
Not enough? Relax even more with these tips for finding the massage therapist that’s most right for you.