One of the best gifts you can give to yourself during the holidays is time for self-care. There are always things that are competing for our time, energy, and attention and the holiday season is no different.
Practice saying no and prioritize your activities
This time of year brings holiday parties, family gatherings, after school celebrations, and festive outings with friends. Maybe you’ve hosted events in the past, went over budget on gifts, or overcommitted to baked goods. Give yourself permission to say “no” and trust in yourself and your decisions. Identify what you value and what your intentions are for the holidays and let the rest go.
Give yourself time to grieve for anyone/anything you’ve lost
The winter holiday season is not necessarily a joyous time for everyone. If you are going through a difficult situation, it’s important to give yourself the opportunity to acknowledge your feelings. If you are dealing with the loss of a loved one, take time to remember them and acknowledge their impact on your life. It’s normal to feel the full range of human emotions.
Identify your support system
I can’t stress the importance of support enough! Most people who are successful with healthy habits have identified and made use of support systems. We all have different levels of support in our lives- family, friends, colleagues, and professional wellness providers to name a few. Sometimes support systems are virtual or community based (I met some of my best friends online!). If this is a challenging area for you, one suggestion I have is to brainstorm some of the hobbies you are interested in and see if there are any groups that you could join to connect with others.
Remember the foundations of self-care
There are certain practices that are vital to supporting our ability to self-regulate. Quality sleep, good nutrition, and physical activity are some of the things we can always be working on to be on top of our wellness game. The holidays have the potential to leave us with less time to focus on these areas but making a commitment to small actions can lead to a healthier mind and body.
Some examples would be to park far away when you go shopping so you get extra steps, deciding what calories are “worth it” when it comes to treats, and planning a bedtime routine that includes enough time to sleep so you feel rested.
Have a plan
As with most situations, having a plan is usually better than trying to wing it. I think it’s important to identify those things that are going to recharge your batteries or help you relax.
To make it a little easier, I’ve created a worksheet with questions to support you in getting clear on your self-care needs. Hang it on your fridge or clip it into your journal or planner as a reminder during the season.
What is your favorite self-care activity?