December has boosted the bustle of New York City into a holiday high. Christmas lists, holiday shopping, greeting cards and the careful arrangement of holiday feasts can pile on some unneeded stress. Before you get as strung out as high as those holiday light decorations, take some much needed time for yourself and avoid burning out your bulb. Here are some YNY tips on how to keep the holiday cheer in and the holiday stress out.
Yoga is great for many reasons but most anyone can do it. Stretch your tense muscles and focusing on yourself (instead of how much UPS is going to charge you for sending your Aunt Betsie’s present that you haven’t gotten yet and she lives all the way on the West coast.) Many yoga practices also include meditation. So escaping from the never-stopping frenzy of the holidays proves a much needed rest for your body as much as your mind. YNY has a list of great Yoga centers scattered across midtown and lower Manhattan that host free or donation based classes.
Check them out here: Free Yoga in Manhattan
Hot Chocolate + Movie = Serenity
Nothing beats battling the frostbitten winter wind better than a cup of hot chocolate. Marshmallows make a great addition to every cup but pairing your hot coco but give your stress less moment a promotion with a movie that melts you further into your seat. There are plenty of holiday movies on repeat during the season so just turn on your TV and settle in. If you feel like you’re on holiday overload with all the music and decorations that are sprinkled throughout New York City, check out YNY’s 10 New York Romantic Comedies.
Participating in your office’s Secret Santa? Playing Santa for your Kids? Slowly checking off your Christmas gift list one person at a time? Then you deserve to spend some of that holiday bonus on yourself! What a better way to gift yourself during the holidays than with a spa massage. If your spending has left you with a tight budget, try calling NYC massage schools and inquire about available appointments with students who need to complete hours for certification. These schools offer large discounts for senior students that are close to becoming certified. If shopping has exhausted you mentally from venturing out to find a spa in your area, here are a few sites that can do the finding for you: Spafinder, Spa Addicts, Spa-NYC, and Urban Savings.
Ice Skating at The Pond
Skip the crowds at Rockefeller Center and skate with the bundles at The Pond, Bryant Park’s Ice Skating Rink. The Pond offers free admission skating, free lockers to hold extra belongings (be sure to bring your own lock), and good deals on their rental skates. Enjoy snacks at Ice Bites or sit down for dinner at Bryant Park’s glass enclosed restaurant, Celsius. And before you draw your night to a close, support local artists and entrepreneurs and visit any of the 100 boutique-style shops. For additional information about The Pond, check out the FAQs section of their website at Thepondatbryantpark.com.
What would Christmas be without caroling? To revive your Christmas spirit that may be hidden under all that stress, attend one of the many caroling sessions across NYC.
If you’re in the Brooklyn Heights area, join the First Presbyterian Church on Thursday, December 17th at 7 pm. They’ll be starting at 124 Henry Street and then venturing out to different Brooklyn Heights points, with a post caroling party held at the church. In case you happen to miss their send off at seven, the route will be posted in their church doors.
For those in Manhattan, on Friday December 18th at 7 pm., carolers will be meeting at 487 Hudson Street in the St. Luke’s cafeteria. A group of about 150 singing children and adults will be winding their way around the West Village. Ending where the carolers commenced, refreshments will be served in the St. Luke’s cafeteria to sooth those singing voice boxes.
Step out of the house on Christmas Eve and join locals in some Christmas songs beside the Washington Square Park Tree. Beginning at 5p.m. on December 24th, those from the neighborhood invite students, travelers, and all those in the NYC area to join in voice in celebration of Christmas spirit.