10 Ways to Kick the Holiday Stress in Birmingham

Even with a year to prepare, Santa can get stressed too. Photo via New York Post

The holidays are a time to relax, catch up with friends and enjoy the company of family. However, for many of us, this isn’t always the case. The holidays can easily turn into a marathon of cooking, decorating, shopping and giving—but not this year. Here are 10 ways to kick the holiday stress in Birmingham!

1. Curl Up With Your Fave Fall Beverage. 🍵

Yep! Doesn’t matter how cold it is outside. I still prefer my drinks iced. Photo via Seeds Coffee Facebook

Take a deep breath and curl up with your favorite fall drink. You can finally try out that new recipe on Pinterest or head to a local cafe. Birmingham definitely doesn’t fall short on great coffee shops. Whether it’s hot cocoa, a cup of joe or a matcha latte—someone in the city sells it.

Pro tip: If you prefer to make your own coffee at home, add a little cinnamon to the coffee grinds for a hint of holiday flavor!


2. Get Lost in That Book You’ve Been Dying to Read. 📚

A cup of joe + your fave book= perfection. Photo by Chaise Sanders for Bham Now

Knock the dust off those shelves and crack open that book you said you would read months ago. I forgot how relaxing it was to get lost in a book until I picked up The Great Gatsby. Then I tried to reread 1984 by George Orwell and I remembered why I hadn’t picked up a book for a while. But that’s beside the point!

Whether it’s science fiction, fantasy, thriller or mystery, the answers to your stress relief may have been sitting on your shelf this whole time. If you’re looking for a new addition to your bookshelf, Birmingham is full of amazing independent bookstores to visit.

3. Catch a Movie at Birmingham’s Newest Movie Theater. 🍿

These were my exact reactions when I saw Avengers: Endgame. Photo by Matthew Niblett for Bham Now

Birmingham just got a new luxury movie theater, Premiere Lux Cinema on Lakeshore. It’s not your typical cinema. It’s the perfect place to kick up your feet, relax and get lost in a movie.


With wall-to-wall screens, comfy leather recliner seats and in-theatre dining, you can let all that holiday stress fade away. Click here for movie times and tickets.

4. Take a Hike. 🍂

This wasn’t taken in Bham but how awesome is this view?! Photo via Aviate

Work off those turkey day calories and clear your head by taking the family for a hike at one of Birmingham’s many trail systems. Ruffner is a personal favorite, but there’s definitely a multitude of hikes to explore. Jefferson County’s Red Rock Trail System offers over 120 miles of trails (the goal is 750 miles in total). So put on your hiking shoes and get to it!

If you want to stay in metro Birmingham, the Rotary Trail is a good alternative if you’re not much of the “outdoorsy” type. How about a self-guided walking tour of Morris Avenue? Whichever way you prefer to get your steps in, it’s been proven that raising your heart rate a bit can help alleviate stress.


5. Visit Birmingham Staples Like Vulcan and Railroad Park. 👏

Railroad Park a.k.a Birmingham’s front lawn. Photo via @cotton_state

All the holiday preparation probably left you confined to the strip mall, grocery store and Hobby Lobby. It’s always good to take a break from routine and enjoy Birmingham staples.

When you think of the Magic City, you probably think of Vulcan. It is our logo after all! The park is always free to the public and is a great place to watch the sunset. Nothing says de-stressing like watching a sunset. Am I right?!

Railroad Park also just opened its skating rink for the holidays along with a giant ice slide. But if you can barely walk on your own two feet like me, maybe ice skating isn’t the best stress reliever. However, the park is still one of my go-to spots in Birmingham to lay out a blanket and relax.


6. Catch a Performance of The Nutcracker at Alabama Theatre. 🎄

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The Nutcracker performed by the Birmingham Ballet. Photo via the Birmingham Ballet

What better way to celebrate the holidays than with Birmingham Ballet’s The Nutcracker. This Magic City tradition is in its 24th season and is a wonderful event for the entire family. Just like watching a movie, you can sit back, relax and immerse yourself in the world of Sugar Plum Fairies.

The production of The Nutcracker will be held at the historic Alabama Theatre from November 30-December 1. You can get tickets here. If you can’t make it to these shows, no worries! The Alabama Theatre is screening the best lineup of holiday movies, including The Polar Express, Home Alone and Elf!

7. Treat Yo’ Self to a Day of Self Care. 💆

Treat yo’ self with a much-needed spa day! Photo via Pinterest

Relax. Unwind. Treat yo’ self! Take a much-needed spa day to help kick that holiday stress. After cooking, decorating, socializing and giving, it’s important to give yourself some “you” time.


Not your type of self-care? Just take time to do whatever you like—maybe binge watching Netflix or a day of crafting! To me, Crafter’s House in Hoover is just as therapeutic as a spa day. Here you can satisfy the muse within you with a variety of creative activities!

8. Hop in the Car, Crank Some Tunes, and Take a Drive. 🚘

You won’t see this view on your daily commute, but WOW. Photo via @cotton_state

I don’t know about you but driving really helps to clear my head. Hopping in the car, blasting your favorite music and cruising through Birmingham (especially in the fall) is a great way to destress.

Want to find some fall-filled drives bursting with colors? We’ve got you covered! Who knows? Maybe you’ll happen to discover a new cool spot you never knew existed. After all a great adventure never really starts until you get lost.


9. Visit a Local Museum. 🖼️

Tag along with Bham Now to 6 of Birmingham’s coolest museums!

Ever heard of a “museum prescription”? Well, supposedly it’s a thing in Canada. Museums spark a sense of creativity and imagination. You can take things at your own pace and feel culturally invigorated.

When you need a little escape from your holiday obligations, make a quick pit stop at one of Birmingham’s many museums. We’ve got the guide for you!

10. Maybe Sleep? I Heard it Does Wonders. 💤

Don’t you just want to jump in this! Photo via @minilearners

In a culture where being busy is the norm, you should take some time to give your body a chance to rest. It’s time to admit to yourself that 6 hours a night just isn’t going to cut it…at least not for me.


Some people say you can’t get rid of stress just by sleeping. Well, I’m here to tell you otherwise. So pull the curtains. Turn on your white noise machine. Hit the hay. The holidays can wait!

How do you like to unwind during the holidays? Let us know your tips and tricks on social @BhamNow.