The holidays are a great time for everyone to celebrate with their families and friends. However, as it can be a very busy time, we tend to end up feeling stressed, exhausted and overwhelmed. It is important that you invest on self care during the holidays and focus on your mental, emotional and physical well being.
“Self-care is never a selfish act-it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth to offer to others.” – Parker Palmer
If the song tells us that this is the “most wonderful time of the year,” then why are so many folks so stressed out? Yes, my dear, I know that with all the demands on your time and attention as the holidays approach, often what gets tossed aside is self-care. Yet, my darling, that’s the last thing that you should be sacrificing.
Because if you aren’t nourished – mind, body, and soul – then it will be practically impossible to enjoy the holidays. Because, darling, not tending your own needs will eventually lead to burnout. No matter what time of year it may be.
Self-care during the Holiday Season (and beyond):
Here are twenty-four things to consider when it comes to self-care during the holiday season (and beyond)
1. Be more compassionate with yourself.
“Loving yourself doesn’t make you selfish. When done correctly, the exact opposite occurs, because you know that selfish behaviors are negative for your mind, body and spirit.” – Donald L. Hicks
Self-compassion is a vital tool in cultivating a life that is full of contentment no matter what is going on in our lives. That inner critic contemplates the negative and berates us for the mistakes, no matter how minor, and refuses to congratulate if the slightest flaw or wrinkle is apparent. The irony is that while we think being tough on ourselves, towing a strict line, and holding our feet to the fire is beneficial on the road toward success happiness, the opposite is actually true. The quality of our lives is largely due to the way we think we are doing. Self-care demands more self-compassion.
2. Eat, Drink, and Be Merry… in Moderation
Drink a glass of wine at dinner. Eat dessert. But don’t finish a bottle of wine or indulge in dessert every night. Ensure that most of your meals are healthy to balance out the holiday treats. And up your water intake as it’s easy to forget that we still need to stay hydrated in cooler weather.
3. Put your phone down already!
I popped into the washroom after breakfast out with girlfriends, and standing at the sink was a woman leaning over the sink on her phone. Driving to Target the other day I had to change lanes to get out of the way of a reckless driver; glancing over at her, I noticed that she was reading her phone. These are not rare occurrences. The addiction to smart devices is an epidemic, and we miss so much with our necks hunched and our eyes looking down at our screens (not to mention what it’s doing to our bodies).
If putting away your tech is difficult, make a game of it: when you go to lunch or dinner with a group, have everyone pile their phones in the center of the table. The first person to check their phone for anything other than an incoming call, buys for everyone (or buys dessert, or the next round of drinks). At home, consider instituting no-tech nights.
4. Self-Care Demands You Get More Rest
“Love yourself unconditionally, just as you love those closest to you despite their faults.” – Les Brown
In the name of self-care, stop burning the midnight oil. Adequate sleep is critical to the way the body and mind function (and there’s lots of science to back that up). Don’t forget that technology can interfere with your ability to sleep well, so no devices in the bedroom!
If you have a job that requires you to be “on call” at the very least enable the features that most new phones have, allowing you to shift your screen colors into a warmer spectrum from sundown to sunrise. It’s easier on the eyes, and the brain.