5 Ways to Reduce Stress This Holiday Season (Plus a Peppermint Mocha Recipe!)

We’ve seen the headlines. Over and over there have been studies published recently about holiday stress and the cost of creating a magical holiday. The very last thing I would ever want is to hear that the holidays are anything less than beautiful for you, so today I’m going to talk about five easy, quick ways you can continue to practice self-care this season.

And please remember that if you are struggling, feeling more than a little overwhelmed, reach out and ask for help from those around you.

  1. Start with 15 minutes. Find 15 minutes every single day that you can check out and just be you. Find what that 15 minutes is best served for you and make it a priority. For me, it’s usually right after school drop off. I make coffee, listen to music and just mess around with no real purpose. I know this can be more difficult if you have to go to a work setting, but when you get to your job or office, don’t be afraid to just get coffee or breakfast and take 10-15 mins to wake up and get ready for your day. Your coworkers or those around you can wait 10 mins for you to decompress and get in your mindset. My husband used to tell me that his long commute to work did this for him too. He was able to separate home from work and just listen to podcasts or music in the car and decompress a little. His commute is now all of 8 mins and sometimes, he does miss that aspect of the commute. So, take advantage of those pockets of time and don’t waste them in WORRY mode. Decompress, let your mind wander or go clear, but do not worry about the to-do list.

  2. Take the time to organize. If there’s one thing that Adult Veronica has learned it’s that organization and planning make life so. much. easier. I am a recovering “fly by the seat of my pants” type of person and let’s just say that when I take a minute to use my planner, write down lists, organize, I feel immensely more in control. This holiday season, get a gift list going. Write it down, pick your budget and you’ll always know how much you have left to finish. This will help remove so much of the money stresses and the “what do I still need to do?!” stresses of the season. If you’d like a digital gift planner, I have one on my website available for Crooks + Coffee readers, if interested, you can snag it HERE.


  3. Don’t be afraid to go low key. When I have friends that have children, one of the biggest pieces of advice I’ve given them from my almost six years of parenting is this: learn how to say no if it means your family will be happier. As soon as we had our daughter, my husband and I made a bold choice to tell our families that we will not travel for Christmas anymore. Everyone is at least two hours away and I didn’t want to spend half our holiday rushing around in the car all day. We do our holiday celebrations with them either weekends before or after and Christmas Eve/Christmas Day is about us. If someone wants to come stay with us, they are welcome, but we will be waking in our own beds, on our own schedule and spending Christmas Day in pjs. I went from being the most stressed out person around the holidays, before we even had a child, traveling to at least 3-5 holiday celebrations between our families to having the most fun and relaxing day with those who matter most. Spreading out the celebrations has been so much easier on all of us. Don’t be afraid to rock the boat to find a balance that works for your family too.

  4. Try some handmade gifting this year in batches. We all have about 5-8 people on our list who we want to gift to, but honestly, have no idea what to get them. Head on over to Pinterest and check out some large batch handmade gifts that can be fun to make. You can knock out several batches at once to create several gifts at once and they’ll be unique, fun and special. Make it a fun family activity on a Saturday and I’m willing to bet your friends or family who help you, will also enjoy the creative process. This even sounds like the makings of such a fun tradition to me! Here are a few pins I found on Pinterest that I think you might really enjoy:
    Vanilla Bean Lotion Bars
    Vanilla Latte Massage Bars
    Peppermint Body Butter
    DIY Heating Pack

  5. Treat yourself. We all have at least one (or ten) little things that bring us joy around the holidays. Maybe it’s a spiced latte or peppermint mocha. Perhaps you really can’t control yourself around sugar cookies or latkes. I get it, we’re all trying to be responsible adults who don’t eat like garbage dumpsters, but don’t let it get you down if you decide to indulge once, twice, even weekly between now and the end of the year. This is a special time of year that you just need to enjoy and live it. We all know that January comes with it’s own refreshing newness, so let’s end on a good note and just be happy!


Just in case Peppermint Mochas are your special treat, today I’m also bringing you a quick recipe for how you can make them yourself at home with Crooks and Coffee! This skinnier Peppermint Mocha can be made at home to save you at least a little more sugar than the coffee shop. Need to snag some more coffee to make this drink come true? The very LAST holiday/winter drop with holiday delivery will be happening on December 7th! Use code COFFEEBLOG to save at checkout so you can snag a few gifts while you’re at it! 



Ingredients to gather:

- Crooks + Coffee Non-Flavored blend of your choice OR flavored Mocha Latte

- Peppermint Extract

- Cocoa powder or chocolate syrup

- Half & Half or milk of choice

- Peppermints or Candy Canes, crushed, optional

- Whipped Cream, optional

As always, you can tweak this recipe to your flavor preferences so use the amounts that feel right to you.

  1. Brew strong coffee.
  2. Mix in cocoa powder or chocolate syrup and stir thoroughly.
  3. Stir in 1/8 - 1/4 tsp of peppermint extract.
  4. Grab your cream or milk. If you really love peppermint, you can add a little extract into the milk too. Use a frother or blender to get it nice and foamy before adding to your cup. Holding back the foam, pour the milk into the cup and stir, then layer the foam on top.
  5. If adding whipped cream or other toppings, go ahead and make it pretty. If you want to go extra indulgent, top with whipped cream, chocolate sauce and crushed peppermints.
  6. ENJOY! And truly take a minute to be mindful of how wonderful this time of year can be!

GIFT IDEA: Package up a bag of Crooks and Coffee Mocha Latte or Jamaican Mountain Blend + a coffee mug + bag clip scoop + a printout of the Peppermint Mocha recipe above for a super fun gift that any coffee lover will enjoy! (Use code COFFEEBLOG to save at
    Peppermint Mocha Recipe from Crooks and Coffee

      peppermint mocha from Crooks and Coffee

      I truly hope that you can find a way to have a memorable, beautiful holiday season without letting the stress bring you down. You can always come back to your center, so don’t be afraid to just breathe in the coffee and take in the twinkling lights when you start to feel overwhelmed.

      Peace, Love + Coffee,

      P.S. If you are struggling on gifting this year, I definitely recommend grabbing your favorite coffee from Crooks + Coffee, and putting together a fun gift basket that includes coffee, a spoon or clip scoop and this super fun knit Caffeinated hat! Use code COFFEEBLOG to save so you can grab extra for you too!


      Veronica is a Crooks + Coffee superfan, as well as the blogger, small shop consultant and creator of Caffeinate then Create. She lives in Iowa with her husband, Randy, and their 5 yr old self-proclaimed pirate princess, Gabby.  She loves to write, play board games, talk about small business and has a deep seeded love of Star Wars and coffee.

      Leave a comment

      Please note, comments must be approved before they are published