As the holiday season approaches at the speed of light, or are we here, the stores make us a little confused with Christmas songs blasting and the selves stocked with red and green? Did we zoom past Thanksgiving? But we digress, during this time our lives often burst into a whirlwind of activities - from festive gatherings to the quest for perfect gifts and the daunting task of hosting family and friends or convincing ourselves to attend the holidays at home.
While the season is adorned with the spirit of giving and togetherness, it’s essential to remember that the greatest gift we can offer ourselves, amidst the chaos, is the gift of self-care. In this blog, we’ll explore why self-care is particularly crucial during the holidays and how embracing it can transform our experience into one of true peace and while maybe not unbridled joy, a tempered joy is possibly attainable.
The Importance of Self-Care During the Holidays:
- The holidays come with their own set of stressors. Financial pressures, social obligations, and the desire to create the perfect holiday experience can take a toll on our mental health. Self care acts as a buffer against stress by providing us with tools and practices to manage anxiety and maintain our emotional equilibrium. It reminds us to take a moment and rest, observe, participate instead of just doing what needs to be done by route.
- With the constant buzz of activities, it’s easy to lose touch with our inner selves. Self care routines encourage us to slow down, breathe, and remain grounded. Mindfulness practices, such as meditation or taking a moment to breathe deeply, can help us stay present and enjoy the moment rather than getting caught up in the frenzy. Try making yourself something warm to drink, be mindful while preparing it for yourself, smell the ingredients, sit down quietly to drink it, observe how it smells and tastes and how the warmth makes you feel. That, dear members, is an amazing and easy way to incorporate a mindfulness exercise into your day.
- Amidst the feasts and treats, maintaining physical health can be challenging. Self care means listening to our bodies and respecting its needs, be it in the form of nourishing food, lots of water, regular exercise, or adequate rest. By prioritizing our health, we are better equipped to engage in holiday activities and actually enjoy them.
- The holidays can stir up a complex mix of emotions. Self care practices, such as journaling or seeking support from a therapist or a support group, can provide emotional outlets and coping mechanisms.
Quality Time Over Quantity:
- Self care is about quality, not just quantity. It allows us to show up as our best selves for the people we love. Quality over Quantity also means that we prioritize what is best for ourselves and who we spend our time with. There are people in our lives that in a perfect world we would go no contact with, but present circumstances dictate we can’t, so these are the people we limit our time around. This is self care and self preservation in action.
How to Practice Self Care During the Holidays:
- Learn to say no. It’s okay not to attend every event or meet every demand placed upon you. Prioritize the things you say yes to and don’t be afraid to set boundaries to protect your time and energy.
- While it’s fun to indulge, try to keep some semblance of your normal routine. This includes your sleep schedule, workout regimen, dietary habits, and keeping your mental health routine in place. A sense of normalcy can keep you anchored amidst the holiday chaos.
- Schedule time for yourself. Whether it’s a quiet coffee in the morning before the day begins or a relaxing bath at the end of the day, make sure you have moments of solitude to decompress.
- Enjoy the festive foods and activities, but do so mindfully. Listen to your body’s signals and recognize when you’re satisfied, both with food and socialization.
Seek Joy in Simplicity:
- Find joy in the simple things - a walk in the crisp winter air, the laughter of people you love, or the beauty of holiday decorations. Joy doesn’t have to be complex or expensive.
The holiday season is a time of joy, but it can also be a time of grief. Not all of us have a Hallmark worthy family and the reality is, holidays are stressful, so it is especially important to take care of ourselves and prioritize self care. By consciously incorporating self care into our holiday routines, we can ensure that we survive the season, mental health intact. Remember, caring for yourself is not an act of selfishness; it’s a testament to self respect.
You all are our purpose and our light.
All the best,