Self-care has become such a big part of my life. I’ve learned how taking care of myself first can have such a positive impact on everything else I do in my life. The holidays are no exception. Between gift shopping, parties and family dinners, it’s important to be self-aware and make sure that you’re carrying your self-care habits through the holidays to keep from burning yourself out and getting overwhelmed.
5 Ways To Carry Your Self-Care Habits Through The Holidays
Whether you have a rock-solid self-care routine or you’re completely new to the practice, the holidays are a time of year when we can all use a little extra self-lovin’. For most, this time is filled with winter activities, coffee dates with friends and family gatherings. Our planners are filled with a lot more than usual and for that, it’s important to balance out the holiday festivities with some well-deserved “me time”. This is me giving you full permission to be extra selfish this holiday season and really listen to what you need most.
1. Give Yourself More Down Time
During the holiday season, it’s easy to turn into a big ball of stress. I mean, can you blame us? We’re worried about what we’re going to wear or how we’re going to explain to our family that we’re still single. Just the idea of what’s ahead is enough to drive me into hibernation.
This is the perfect time to slow things down and take more time for yourself. I know it may seem impossible to slow down when you’re trying to get as much work done as possible in hopes to have some sort of holiday or when you still haven’t found anything to wear for New Years and the time is ticking away but I know you can do it.
Take a step back.
Take a deep breath.
Schedule your down time in. If you know busy times are ahead, set aside a day for yourself. Take that day to do whatever it is that allows you to recharge. Spend the day in bed, catching up on sleep or catching up on Netflix. Do all the things you wish you could do but you’re always too busy for. Maybe you’ve been meaning to work meditation or yoga into your morning routine but you can never seem to find the time. Girl, your time is now!
2. Forget the Guilt
The holidays are a time to celebrate and indulge. Eyeing that last piece of pie, even though you’ve already had 2 pieces? Go for it! Or that extra glass of wine. It’s yours! This isn’t the time to start a new cleanse (that’s what January is for) or to restrict yourself. It’s a time to let loose and enjoy yourself.
Think back on your year so far and all that you’ve done. Think of all the times you got your butt out of bed for that 7 am spin class or the times you turned down dessert because you were trying to cut out sugar. Not only is this the time to reward yourself for absolutely killing it this year but this is the time to do so completely guilt-free!
I promise you. Indulging now won’t set you back. You’ve earned it.
3. Give Yourself Time Off
Whether you’re running your own business or working a 9-5 while also managing your side hustle, plan ahead so you can give yourself some well-deserved time off. If you’re able to, plan to get ahead on your work so you can take a couple days off and spend them relaxing and pampering yourself. If you’re hustling that 9-5, maybe getting your work done early means that your workload is easier around the holidays or that you get to head home an hour earlier. Do whatever you can in your situation to lessen the amount of work you have around the holidays.
For me, this is the first year that I’m not spending the holidays studying and writing papers and exams. When I was in school this was always the most stressful time because rather than getting ahead on my work, I would wait until the last minute – typical university student, am I right? I would have been much better off starting my essays weeks before they were due so I could spend the holidays relaxing and not stressing out.
4. Practice Gratitude
Regardless of what holiday you celebrate, this is the perfect time to look back on the year and on your life and to be grateful for everything you have. Practicing gratitude will not only fill your heart at this time of year but it works wonders at getting you through tougher times.
I know it can be hard to hold it together when your family is drilling you with questions like “why are you still single?” or “when are you going to get a real job?”. Instead of letting these questions or conversations fill you with annoyance or anxiety, try thinking about how you’re grateful for your family. Think about how they all played a little part in shaping who you are. Think about how maybe Grandma doesn’t understand how blogging can make you a living (or what blogging is at all) and by asking you about a “real job” she’s simply expressing her love and concern. By practicing gratitude, it can take a lot of stress out of these events and make loving your nosey grandma way easier.
I really good gratitude practice that I like to do every day is to sit quietly for a couple minutes and think of at least 3 things I’m grateful for. Some people like to write down the things they’re grateful for so they can look back on them. Sometimes I write them down or sometimes I just let them ride my train of thought. Whichever method works best for you, focus on your 3 things for a minute or two and let the positive energy fill your entire body. Doing this every day really helps me stay grounded and keeps me focused on what really matters in life.
5. Give Your Body Some Extra Lovin’
Alright, I know I gave you full permission to completely indulge but I’m also going to tell you to give your body some extra love during the holiday season. I really want you to listen to your body and take care of it. Our bodies naturally adjust with the seasons which means what may have worked for you in the summer may not be what your body needs in the winter.
Set aside time in your week to give your body some extra loving. Indulge your body in whatever it’s craving. If you’re feeling like you need some extra sleep, set your alarm a half hour later than usual. Instead of going for a run outside, try some yin yang yoga flows. You start by moving through the poses at a quicker pace to warm up your body and finish with some nice, slow stretching. Try cooking up warm oats for breakfast and cozy soups for dinner instead of fruit smoothies and salads.
Where I live it’s pretty chilly (think -25° C / -13° F) and the days are pretty short. I like to take this time to slow things down. Realistically, I know I don’t want to get up at 7am to get to the gym, so I let myself sleep in and workout in the evening. I take lost of warm baths and I make sure I always have lip balm and hand cream on me to keep the cold from drying out my skin.
Being mindful of your body and giving it that extra love will make sure that you’re rested and ready for all of the holiday festivities.
Getting through this time in one piece can be tough, but it doesn’t have to be if you work to carry your self-care habits through the holidays.
The holiday season only comes once a year so remember to take is slow and enjoy yourself.
What are your favourite self-care practices to do during the holidays? Let me know in the comments below!