Do tension and stress somehow manage to sneak into your holiday excitement? If so, you’re not alone. Even if you’re having fun, adding extra activities and commitments to an already full plate can be stressful. In the midst of all the holiday hustle and bustle it’s important to remember to take care of yourself.
The idea of self-care makes some people cringe, but it’s the key to maintaining personal health and wellness. Often mistaken for selfishness or neglecting others, self-care is actually an act of love. Everyone depending on you benefits when you first take care of yourself.
Being healthy and relaxed makes it easier for you to accomplish all the wonderful things you want to do for family and friends. It’s tough to shop, decorate or cook when you feel run down, have a cold, or need sleep. The holiday spirit comes a bit easier when you have more in your emotional and energetic tank to give.
Don’t worry if the idea of adding one more commitment to your to-do list makes you want to scream. Self-care can be easy and inexpensive. Gradually doing simple things can significantly boost your personal wellness. Here are 8 easy and inexpensive self-care tips to help boost personal wellness during the holiday season.
Breathe: Take deep, centering breaths throughout the day. They help relax your body and mind.
Know your priorities: Remembering what’s most important to you can help overcome feelings of overwhelm. If there isn’t enough time to satisfy all the holiday demands, finishing the most important things can create a sense of peace.
Listen to your body: Many people ignore or override their body’s signals. Your body might be able to tolerate this neglect under normal circumstances but adding the increased stress of the holiday season might be more than it can take. To increase your chance of staying healthy during the holidays listen to your body. For example, take time to eat if you feel hungry. If you’re sleepy, get enough sleep.
Laugh it up: Humor is great for stress reduction. Do something that makes you laugh. Need some ideas? How about watching a funny movie, singing and dancing to fun music, or telling silly jokes.
Listen to calming music: Soothing music helps relax your body. Nature sounds can also help reduce stress.
Make sure to get some “me time” in for yourself.
- Make an appointment for a manicure or pedicure.
- Take some time to get a cup of coffee and relax, instead of grabbing a coffee on the run.
- Take a drive to the beach or a park and spend an hour enjoying the quiet.
- Relax in a warm bubble bath with candles lit, and soft relaxing music.
Create new, self-supportive traditions: If trying to do things “the way they were always done” creates more stress than joy, take a step back and figure out a new approach. Maybe your new idea will become the next family tradition. Traditions have to start somewhere!
Give up expectations
The holidays, particularly Christmas, can set us up for unrealistic expectations. It almost seems a “magical” time of year and we dream of the perfect holiday. Many people struggle with depression and high anxiety over the holidays. The crisis hotlines have an increase in calls. Domestic violence rises. Not everyone you meet is having a “Merry Christmas.” Perhaps, you are one of the ones that struggle the most. Past experiences, the loss of loved ones, the loss of a job or financial difficulty all seems to heighten during this time of year. One of the best ways to take care of yourself during this emotionally trying time, is to give up your expectations of the perfect family with the perfect tree while hosting the perfect parties with the perfect gifts. This type of thinking is extremely damaging to you. As you relinquish these ideas, you are able to open yourself up to experiencing greater joy in the reality of the moment. Let go of false illusions and celebrate the moment. Wherever you are in your life this year, take care of yourself first. Practice self-love abundantly This truly is the only way to experience the true meaning of Christmas.
May peace, joy, love and happiness be yours today and throughout the year!