Can you believe that Christmas is in four days and the New Year’s around the corner?! I can’t, but with the end of the year vastly approaching, we have a few things to consider.
The holiday season is filled with hustle and bustle, excitement, and cheer. On the other hand, there’s also stress, exhaustion, waiting in long lines, planning, preparation, and even guilt.
We all know that holidays this year have been drastically different from what we’re used to. Some people will gather virtually, some people will meet in smaller groups, and some people will spend the holidays alone.
However, this leaves little time for taking care of oneself. Below 10 tips for practicing self-care during this holiday season.
Make Time For Self
It may seem like it’s selfish to take time to relax, but good stress management requires intentional down time. Create a daily routine for specific activities you enjoy, such cooking, taking a nice hot bath, meditating, reading a novel, or binging a Netflix series.
Keep Exercise Essential
Maintaining an exercise routine during the holidays, is the last thing we want to think about. However, research shows that daily physical activity reduces stress, improves mood, concentration, and combats depression. Take 30 minutes to go for a walk, run on the treadmill, or complete a workout video online.
In a season that focuses on giving to others and asking for more, it’s healthy to spend time expressing gratitude for what you already have. Take a moment to comprise a list of who and what you’re grateful for during this time.
Connect With Others
Remember that the real purpose of the holidays is to connect with your loved ones. As human beings, we thrive in love, intimacy, and connectedness. FaceTime with friends/family, host virtual cooking sessions, or simply call someone to tell them you love them. The more intimacy we have, the more resilient we are.
Create Healthy Boundaries
Boundaries are key for your well-being and overall mental health. Honor your limitations with self. Remember it’s okay to say no or even change the subject of an uncomfortable topic. If you aren’t strict with your boundaries, it’s easy for others to step over them.
Make Room For Grief
The holidays can be tough when you’re missing someone important to you.
Consider setting a place at the table, cooking their famous dish, or sharing favorite memories as a way to honor them. If you’re feeling sad, reach out to a trusted friend who can offer emotional support and a listening ear. Allow yourself to sit with the unpleasant emotions instead of pretending to be happy.
Feel, the FEELS
It’s common to feel overwhelmed by the energy of the holiday season. Yet being in tune and emotionally aware helps you identify your needs and self-regulate. By tapping into your feelings you are building your emotional intelligence.
Hold space for Negative Emotions
Negative emotions during the holidays could be related to unrealistic expectations, too-ambitious goals, or just feeling overwhelmed. Check yourself to evaluate the cause and readjust your mindset/goals. Give yourself permission to cry or be in a funk. No one feels merry and bright all the time.
Find a reason to laugh
Laughter is good for the soul! Humor is a stress reliever and it’s often used as a coping skill during difficult times. Watch your favorite comedy show, play charades, or even sing karaoke in your living room.
There’s nothing like the gift of the present. Instead of reflecting on what took place this year, or worrying about what lies ahead, take time to immerse yourself in the present moment. Practice deep breathing; notice the smells, sounds, and sights around you. Spend time outside and allow the cold air to kiss your face. Notice the differences between the holiday season and other times of the year. Mindfulness techniques can be more than quiet contemplation.