Self-Care During the HolidaysDec 22, 2022
By: Sachika Saxena
It’s the time when joy is spread through the scent of pine trees and freshly baked gingerbread cookies, when tinsel and gift-wrap scatter on the floor, and when a cozy cup of hot chocolate seems like the only right way to spend winter evenings. It is indeed the most wonderful time of the year!
The season offers myriad opportunities for merriment! However, it can also quickly become a season of stress, anxiety, and pressure. As we participate in the holiday spirit of giving back and connecting with family, we often forget to take care of ourselves. Between checking gifts off your list to hosting and attending festivities, “the most wonderful time of the year” can also become a time where self-care is pushed to the back burner.
Here are a few tips and habits to make the most of the Christmas cheer while prioritizing your health and well-being.
Take Time for Yourself
It’s crucial to carve out some time for yourself and spend it on activities that bring you peace and relaxation. Simple tasks such as meditation, a quick walk, or even a hot bath ensure you're breaking away from the hustling and bustling holiday environment. Try setting aside a particular time of day dedicated explicitly to yourself (ex: 30 minutes as soon as you wake up or before going to bed). Not only can this significantly reduce stress, but it also helps you feel more content and fulfilled.
Take a Break from Social Media and Set Realistic Expectations
Your Instagram feed is likely overflowing with content about the holidays. Posts showcasing ornate decorations, innovative DIY crafts, and glamorous Christmas set-ups can often drastically increase our expectations of the work we should be putting in to celebrate the holidays. Rather than comparing yourself to what you see online, put your devices away and enjoy the moments that may dash past you. Connect with the people around you through stories, experiences, and laughter instead of comments from filtered posts.
Learn to Say “No”
Whether it's events to attend or tasks to complete for loved ones, set boundaries and learn to say “no” whenever you have too much on your plate. During the holidays, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with countless gatherings and favors. You shouldn’t feel guilty when declining these plans; you’re simply putting your well-being first!
Get Enough Sleep
Consistently getting enough sleep is the best possible gift you can give to your body. As tempting as it may seem to wrap another gift, stuff another stocking, or put up any last-minute decorations, don’t ever compromise on your sleep. With the exhausting round-the-clock schedule of the winter holidays, getting sufficient sleep helps your body to recharge and re-energize, helping to prevent burnout as you celebrate and wind down the year.
Ask for Help
Don’t be afraid to lean on someone when you feel overwhelmed—reach out and talk about how you are doing. Sometimes having a simple conversation can help you interrupt negative trains of thought and help you be kind to yourself during the holiday season.
Remember, prioritizing self-care is not selfish; it’s a sign of self-awareness. Setting boundaries can prevent the typical end-of-the-year burnout and unnecessary exhaustion. So, put on your fuzzy socks and play your favorite holiday tunes—it’s time to enjoy the holidays without overloading yourself. Join #ICANHELP in focusing on self-care and gratitude this December by following our posts and challenges on the #ICANHELP Instagram.
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