Bookmark These Destressing Workouts You Can Do In Your Parents’ Spare Room

PeopleImages/E+/Getty Images

Even if you're excited to head home for the holidays, there will probably be those moments of utter annoyance and pain. Your aunt will probably ask why you're single, and your dad probably won't quite understand what your job entails (and therefore think you must be failing at adulting). Or perhaps all goes swimmingly, and none of those reasonably likely scenarios happen. Likely, you're still going to need some alone time during the holidays. A quick workout can help you chill out during the holidays.

It doesn't take a lot of space to sweat out some stress, and you don't need that long, either. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, connecting to your body through even short bursts of exercise can chemically help your brain feel better and more relaxed. And even a few minutes of mental exercise through deep breathing can calm your nervous system and remind your body that no matter how stressful family can be, you'll be alright. Fortunately, even if your childhood bedroom seems smaller than you remember, you've probably got more than enough room to get in a solid, de-stressing workout.

If you've got 15 minutes of reprieve from family activities, these three quick workouts can help you de-stress and enjoy your holiday just a little bit more.

Low Impact (And Your Room Is Above Someone Else's)
Goodboy Picture Company/E+/Getty Images

Low- or no-impact movements are easier on your joints, and on someone else's ceiling if the room you're staying in is on the second floor. But you can still get a stress-relieving workout in without any jumping around required. Set a stopwatch for 12 minutes (that's all you'll need) and clear some space.

At the start of the first minute, pull out ye old desk chair and squat like you're going to sit down in it. But before you fully sit, stand back up again. You can keep your arms out in front of you for balance if you need to. Repeat 10 times and rest until the stopwatch hits two minutes. (If you're more comfortable with squatting, forget the chair and sink into 15 high-quality bodyweight squats.)

At the two minute mark, adjust your body so your hands are braced near your shoulders at the edge of your bed. Keep your elbows tucked in and your torso and hips in a straight line, steady and moving as one unit. Sink down into a pushup, and come back up again for 10 reps, then rest until the third minute. (If pushups are your usual jam, hit the floor and bang out 10-15 reps).

Every minute, alternate between squats and pushups. Don't forget to breathe through each rep, and you got this.

Your Room Is On The First Floor

If your room is on the first floor and you can make as much noise as you want, this is where jumping jacks come in. They may feel silly (oh, fifth grade gym class), but they'll get your heart rate up and give you a good workout in no time. Keep count of your jumping jacks, trying for as many crisp reps as you can. When you're tuckered out, rest for 45 seconds and start again. Rinse and repeat five times, and you've got yourself a full-body workout that literally will have your blood pumping from head to toe.

YouTube It Up

If you don't want to feel alone during your workout, that's completely understandable. YouTube workouts can be absolutely delightful, and you can cater your search for what you need. For example, if you're a transmasculine human wanting to soothe some dysphoria, here's a nice at-home chest workout for you. And if you want some to clear your mind and calm your nerves but only have 15 minutes for yoga, YouTube has still got you covered.


If it's too cold to head outside for a walk around the block or a jog, that's OK. You can still get your blood pumping and your brain feeling better from these quick workouts. Remember that you don't have to exercise during the holidays, of course. But if you feel like it's going to help you get out some extra energy, wake you up, or shake you out of a family-induced funk, the moves above have got you covered.