The holiday season is the most wonderful time of the year, but unfortunately, it can also be the most stressful and exhausting time as well.
This is because of all the preparations that are needed, like putting up decorations, buying gifts, planning parties (when we can have them), and events, etc.
On top of that, this year has been so different than we all expected.
Because of this, self care is so much more important around the holidays than any of us realize.
Here’s why: you can’t take care of other people until you take care of yourself.
Importance of Self Care During The Holidays
Self care means you take care of YOU (that beauty in the mirror you’ve been ignoring).
Self care isn’t always pleasure. It’s also not necessarily something immediate that feels good (like a mani pedi).
In fact, self care is taking care of you in the future.
It’s prioritizing your physical and mental health so you live intentionally, grounded in your own values.
And of course, this is exactly what gets tested around the holidays.
Holiday Self Care Tips
To get started practicing better self care around the holidays, I suggest doing the following:
- Move your body
- Take care of your mind
- Slow it way down
- Practice intentional deep breathing
Tip #1: Move Your Body
Tip number one is to move your body.
Around the holidays, it’s so easy to feel stressed and overwhelmed that you let go of your physical health.
So knowing this ahead of time gives you an opportunity to “get out ahead of it” as I like to say.
Instead of planning to rush around and eat your way through Christmas, set aside time to move your body, even if it’s just a 15 or 20 minute walk.
I’ve gone through periods where I just walk one mile in the morning and that’s my only exercise. And you know what? That is enough.
Tip #2: Take Care Of Your Mind
The second tip is to take care of your mind.
Your mental health is the most important thing.
I like to say that the holidays are like a container for all the issues that already existed. It’s just putting a magnifying glass on them.
So! With this in mind, be easy on yourself.
Remember that you don’t have to do anything on your holiday list. In fact, you’re the decider of your life. You can do all the things. Or not.
Take time for yourself and even coach yourself to make sure you get out all the clutter in your mind onto paper.
Journaling is an excellent way to clear out your mind, too.
Whatever works for you—meditation, coaching yourself, journaling, etc.—do more of it around the holidays. You’ll definitely need it.
- How To Coach Yourself (podcast)
- 75 Journal Prompts For Self Discovery (blog post)
- How To Live An Intentional Life (free course)
Tip #3: Slow It Way Down
Tip number three is to slow it down—way down.
The irony of the holidays is how much hustle and bustle there is; yet, we don’t want there to be.
We want to laugh, to play, to enjoy the present moment with family.
And yet we don’t do that. Instead, we try to do it all and wind up overwhelmed and exhausted.
What I suggest is to make space on your calendar this holiday season to do nothing.
To enjoy each other’s company.
To walk outside.
When you think about the holiday season ending, think about looking back at it. What will you have hoped to remember? Likely it’s not that everything happened “perfectly” but instead it’s that you spent time with people you love, slowed down, and enjoyed the season.
- Finding Pleasure (podcast)
- What Are Fixed And Growth Mindsets (blog post)
- Scarcity Vs. Abundance Mindset (free course)
Tip #4: Practice Intentional Deep Breathing
The final tip is to practice intentional deep breathing.
This time of year, it’s easy to get stressed and feel really tense without even realizing it.
What you can do to reset (really quickly, actually), is practice breathing in and out through your nose very slowly. This also forces your mind to follow suit and slow it down with you.
From there (a much calmer state), you’re clearer and more mindful of what’s going on.
- How To Live An Intentional Life (podcast)
- How To Stop Self Sabotaging Thoughts (blog post)
- Grow You (coaching program)
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A Final Note!
The importance of self care during the holidays can’t be over emphasized.
If you’re like most women, you care so much about everyone around you, and forget about yourself.
It’s spending time stressing about getting everything perfect for when your in laws come in, or whether your son will get better from a cold so you can see your grandma on Christmas.
While these things are important, they’re out of your control. And the more you fixate on them, the more stressed you get, without the outcome being any different.
This holiday season do something different. So do something for you that will help your family, too.
Prioritize your own peace. This, of course, is what matters most.