The holiday season is upon us and that much needed break from work is so close you can almost hear the music, smell the smells and feel the warmth from friends and family near by! To help you unwind and recharge over the holidays, check out these inspiring and thought provoking TED Talks! Learn the power of positivity, the importance of a conversation, why its time to get gritty, how gratefulness leads to happiness and that vulnerability is okay.

The Happy Secret To Better Work by Shawn Achor (12:13 min)

Filmed May 2011 at TEDxBloomington

“If you can raise somebody’s level of positivity in the present,then their brain experiences what we now call a happiness advantage, which is your brain at positive performs significantly better than at negative, neutral or stressed. Your intelligence rises, your creativity rises, your energy levels rise. In fact, we’ve found that every single business outcome improves. Your brain at positive is 31% more productive than your brain at negative, neutral or stressed. You’re 37% better at sales. Doctors are 19 percent faster, more accurate at coming up with the correct diagnosis when positive instead of negative, neutral or stressed.”

10 Ways To Have A Better Conversation by Celeste Headlee (11:44 min)

Filmed May 2015 at TEDxCreativeCoast

“And I kind of grew up assuming everyone has some hidden, amazing thing about them. And honestly, I think it’s what makes me a better host. I keep my mouth shut as often as I possibly can, I keep my mind open, and I’m always prepared to be amazed, and I’m never disappointed. You do the same thing. Go out, talk to people, listen to people, and, most importantly, be prepared to be amazed.”

Grit: The Power Of Passion And Perseverance by Angela Lee Duckworth (6:09 min)

Filmed May 2013 at TED Talks Education

“Grit is passion and perseverance for very long-term goals. Grit is having stamina. Grit is sticking with your future, day in, day out, not just for the week, not just for the month, but for years, and working really hard to make that future a reality. Grit is living life like it’s a marathon, not a sprint.”

Want To Be Happy? Be Grateful by Brother David Steindl-Rast (14:26 min)

Filmed June 2013 at TEDGlobal

“And we all know people who have lots of misfortune, misfortune that we ourselves would not want to have, and they are deeply happy. They radiate happiness. You are surprised. Why? Because they are grateful. So it is not happiness that makes us grateful. It’s gratefulness that makes us happy. If you think it’s happiness that makes you grateful, think again. It’s gratefulness that makes you happy.”

The Power Of Vulnerability by Brené Brown (20:12 min)

Filmed June 2010 at TEDxHouston

“This is what I have found: To let ourselves be seen, deeply seen, vulnerably seen … to love with our whole hearts, even though there’s no guarantee – and that’s really hard, and I can tell you as a parent, that’s excruciatingly difficult – to practice gratitude and joy in those moments of terror, when we’re wondering, “Can I love you this much? Can I believe in this this passionately? Can I be this fierce about this?” just to be able to stop and, instead of catastrophizing what might happen, to say, “I’m just so grateful, because to feel this vulnerable means I’m alive.” and the last, which I think is probably the most important, is to believe that we’re enough.”

The holidays are a great time to slow down, unwind and recharge your battery. During your downtime this year, check out these inspiring and thought provoking TED Talks!

Caitlin’s education and background is in Graphic Design. She connected with Creative Circle in 2010 as a candidate. After a couple of years freelancing through Creative Circle and with her own clients, she accepted a full-time job as a Creative Circle Recruiter. Caitlin currently works part-time for the company to help improve the overall candidate experience. Outside of work, Caitlin can be found chasing her toddler around, spending time with family, horseback riding, working on her fixer-upper home and enjoying the outdoors.

The holidays aren’t easy for anyone. We want to think it’s all Michael Bublé and Mariah Carey songs with Elf playing in the background, but if you work in creative you know that it’s a lot of last-minute deadlines and Q4 budget pinching. Combine that with all of the holiday shopping you’ve yet to get around to and you’ll be stressed to the max. Check out our three tips on how to beat the stress this season.

1. Work it Out

Get you and your booty to a gym! Most gyms and wellness centers have discounts this time of year, if you aren’t already a member. This suggestion has nothing to do with New Year’s resolutions and everything to do with how satisfying it feels to move your body after a stressful day of sitting at your desk. Going to the gym for a workout is a great way to sweat out all of the stress from your day and take some time for yourself. All of the work you do on your body can also increase your happiness. Going to the gym may not only increase your self-confidence, but it also increases endorphins, which also put a smile on your face. Beyond that, it helps boost your immune system, which can save you a trip to the pharmacy and allow you to save your sick days.

2. Meditate

Meditation is a great way to distress and you don’t have to be in yoga pants on a mat at a fancy eucalyptus-smelling yoga studio to do it. There is a reason why this mindfulness practice has been around for centuries and why it’s coming back in a bit way. There are tons of apps out there these days that can help you delve into your inner self for guidance and peace—whether you’re on the subway, sitting at your desk, or riding the elevator. (We do discourage you from trying this while driving.) Check out apps like Headspace, Meditation Studio, Simple Habit, or Calm. If you know of an app that isn’t listed, please let us know which we should be checking out!

3. Give Back

Beyond stress that comes from the holiday season, there are many people out there who are stressed for other reasons, possibly relating to basic survival, like not having enough food or adequate shelter. A great way to encourage the feel-good-warm-fuzzies is to dedicate your time giving back to a cause you care about. Whether it’s volunteering at a food shelter, nursing home, hospital, or other venue, there are many cause-based organizations that seek your help this time of year.

Before you look into volunteering—make sure to check in with your team’s Human Resources team. Many companies now offer their employees one of more days off to contribute to the community. Ask your team to find out how you can give back.

At the end of the year, the holiday season typically tends to win over the general population and succeeds in stressing us all out—but it doesn’t have to. Take initiative and try utilizing the 3 steps above to lighten your load this holiday season. Let us know how it goes and if you learn anything about yourself along the way!

Allison is a former Creative Circle Account Executive, with a background in creative writing, content writing/strategy, publishing, and business development. Her world revolves around words and the relationships and interactions they inspire. Allison is now the Content Specialist at Raizlabs, a design and development firm in Boston and San Francisco.