One thing you absolutely have to know about me is that I’m obsessed with the holidays! Getting together with family, the decorations, the beautiful weather, and let’s not forget the movies that leave you feeling oh so fuzzy. However, there is something about the holidays that a lot of people don’t like to talk about. Burn out.
My admiration of the holidays usually results in me feeling a little more stressed out than usual. I mean, during the holidays we are; socializing more, spending more, eating more, doing more, and sleeping less. For a people pleasing introvert like myself- that can be a lot.
What usually happens is I am in busy bee mode for three months straight without taking any time to take care of myself. I usually end up with a cold, and a messy apartment as soon as New Year’s rolls around.
I wanted to compile a list of self-care practices that we can all do this holiday season. Whether you are like me, or if you just want new ways to take extra care of yourself, try to take advantage of at least one of these self-care tips.
I have also created a self-care guide that can help you with quick ideas for self-care, learning what types of self-care work best for you, and the situations that may result in you needing some self-care.
20 Holiday Self-Care Ideas
- Prioritize sleep
Be sure to get enough sleep this holiday season. It’s essential that we get at least 7 or 8 hours in order to remain happy and healthy. My biggest tip for a more peaceful sleep is to turn your phone on airplane mode so that you don’t get any calls or texts. You can also leave your phone in another area of your bedroom rather than right by your bed so that you don’t mindlessly scroll through as you are trying to fall asleep.
- Create an intentional morning routine
Set a little time for yourself each morning. Even if you can only spare 5 minutes. Make time to slow down, check in with yourself, and prepare for the day. I like to wake up around 6-6:30 am and get a workout in before my workshift. When I start my morning off with a workout I feel energized and motivated to rock my day.
- Go for walks
As the weather gets cooler we may want to stay indoors as much as possible, but it is so important that we take a little time to go outside. Getting time outside increases oxygen flow and can re-center you. If it’s too cold to spend some time outside, get some plants for your home. The plants will give you the same benefit of increased oxygen flow and will improve your mood.
- Create a budget and stick to it
Plan ahead and know what you can spend money on this season, and be sure not to over do it. It can be so tempting to take advantage of every shopping deal, or dinner out, but it’s important to keep yourself in check.
If you are on a low budget, set up a dinner with friends and family at home to avoid eating out. When it comes to shopping, be sure that everything you purchase is actually a need not a want. Everything you have your eyes on right now will be on sale again, and if you still need it then you can buy it.
- Practice the “one in, one out” rule
Gifts start to pour in this time of year, and if you take advantage of all of the sales then you will probably have a few new purchases. Everytime you add something to your home take one thing out. This will prevent clutter from forming. If possible, try and donate the items you are getting rid of rather than just throwing them away. Places that commonly take donations are homeless shelters, women’s shelters, hospitals, and good will.
- Eat well
Indulging is ok every now and again but you don’t want to fall into the mentality of “Well, it’s the holidays so I can eat…” whatever it is- can be had at anytime of the year. You want to stay on top of your goals and remain focused. Be sure to always have healthy snacks on hand, practice saying no to unhealthy food, and find some healthy dessert recipes that you can make as a substitute. Remember, eating healthy can be a lot of fun if done creatively.
- Spend some time alone
We all need a little more time to re-charge this time of year. Don’t forget to spend a little time away from everyone and rest.
- Focus on the positive people in your life
Spend time nourishing the positive relationships in your life, and surround yourself with the people who lift you up. If you find that you are feeling down or stressed, reach out to someone that always makes you smile and talk with them.
- Make a goal to read a book
Often, we get caught up being online and we forget to fuel that part of us that wants to simply escape or learn something new. Pick a book that you have wanted to check out for a while and make it a goal to finish it.
If you are feeling overwhelmed with thoughts or emotions this holiday season take some time to write about it. You don’t have to keep it- heck you don’t even have to read it. Just set a timer for 2 minutes and just write.
- Don’t stress about spending money for gifts.
There are so many ways to give meaningful gifts to the people in our lives that are free or of minimal cost. My favorite is to either bake delicious treats they can enjoy, or to frame one of their favorite pictures to go up in their home.
- Practice gratitude
Gratitude is what keeps me grounded. It reminds me day in and day out that there is so much light in my life, and always brings me back to my “why” in everything. Gratitude journaling is simple, simply write three things that you are thankful for at the end of each day and read those things the next morning. I guarantee your mood will improve, and you will start to see more and more positivity throughout your day.
- Find blessings in your messes
We like to be really hard on ourselves this time of year, but we need to remember to be forgiving of our mistakes along the way. If we place too much pressure on ourselves to be perfect and to get everything done perfectly than we will get overwhelmed and burn out. Be kind to yourself.
Share kindness and love to everyone in your life. We always have to choose to be something so choose love.
- Let go of guilt
We like to put down our boundaries on the holidays and agree to everything and everyone. However, we don’t have to. We can say no sometimes. We can choose to buy less expensive gifts this year. People will not be as unforgiving as we make them out to be in our heads.
- Practice abundance in the everyday
Instead of only seeing the things we want, or don’t have. Spend time recognizing all of the things we do have. Take a minute and acknowledge all that is available to you in the present moment. Look at all of the opportunity that is in your life.
- Give Back
Take time and give back to your community or to someone you know.
- Get creative
Spend time nurturing your creative side. Whether you and a group of friends enroll in an art class, or if you spend some time at home writing in your journal- take some time to have some fun.
- Talk to someone that you haven’t spoken to in a while
It always feels good to catch up with a friend or family member that you haven’t spoken to in awhile. Let them know how much they mean to you.
- Let go of expectations
Not every event, conversation, or plan will work out perfectly. Just take each moment as it comes and try to remain present.
I hope you all enjoy this holiday season and that you try at least one of these self-care practices. Don’t forget to download the self-care guide! The guide is a great way to help you identify the types of self-care practices that work best for you, and can help you identify the moments that you will most likely need self-care so that you are prepared to handle any obstacle that comes your way.
All the best,