If your holiday season usually feels less Hallmark movie, more dark comedy, rest assured: You’re not alone. Whether you’re surrounded by family or aren’t, the holidays can breed more stress than cheer for some of us. That’s why this week’s roundup is all about helping you to fend off the holiday scaries, and maintain your chill all week long.
From finding great last-minute gifts to mastering meditation without making a major time investment to making THE cookies (you know: the famous Alison Roman ones) to speeding down a ski slope, all of these calendar suggestions will help, just a bit, to keep you sane this week. Take your pick!
Kill two birds with one stone: If you waited until the eleventh hour to get your gift shopping out of the way, I’m with you. To the rescue: Riverwards Produce, where you can tackle your weekly grocery shopping and find plenty of really good gifts, from trendy cookbooks to fancy chocolate. Do it.
Take a moment—like, an actual minute—for you. As Jess Naim, a Philly-based meditation teacher, notes, you don’t have to sit cross-legged for hours on end to master the practice. In fact, she suggests beginners start with just one minute. Do it.
Make THE cookies. Families are complicated, and thus the holidays—with all those feelings under one roof—can be complicated. But if you want to put a smile on everyone’s face, make these famous chocolate chip shortbread cookies from Alison Roman’s Dining In cookbook. They are as good as magic. Do it.
Get your ride on! Brooke Walters’ spin classes are the perfect mix of “Oh my gosh, my legs might give out on me” and cathartic fun. It’s a delicate balance, and she hits it. Head to the Fishtown Shift studio at 5:45 p.m. to catch her. Do it.
Get some greens in your life. If your body is thirsting for vegetables after plenty of hearty holiday food, read this rundown on making winter vegetables taste truly delicious (no matter what kind you’re working with!), then hit the kitchen. Do it.
Hit the slopes! Did you know you can find snowy slopes within an hour’s drive of Philly? Well, you can. And there’s something about speeding down a hill of snow that makes you forget about any of life’s stresses. Do it.
Text a friend to hang—and actually mean it. Friendships are important to our health, but sometimes it feels like there’s no room in our overfilled calendars to actually maintain them. Gina Tomaine over at Philly Mag just wrote a piece titled The Lost Art of Hanging Out, and damn, it is painfully relatable. And the ultimate motivation to make some truly unadulterated hangout plans with a friend, no calendar invite involved. Do it.