The holidays are right around the corner and while it is commonly coined, “The most wonderful time of the year!”, you might be finding yourself thinking that it’s the “most stressful time of the year!” instead. It’s the time of year when you are trying to manage expectations + plans for yourself, your family, your friends, + your work, all before the year concludes. It can be a bit overwhelming at times…can you relate?
Most of you will likely put your nose to the grindstone and grind away with hopes that if we just get through it all that you can finally make it out on the other side alive. But is that really the best way to go about it?
Or you may think that you will “work hard + play hard”…meaning after a rough day, you find yourself indulging in a Netflix binge, holiday cookies binge, or downing that bottle of red wine to unwind + relax because you definitely deserve it. But I will tell you the cold, hard truth…this is not the way to go about it either. This usually ends up with a net-negative result of you ending up feeling gluttonous + also feeling worse after you indulge in these false pleasures that allow you that short-lived instant gratification that you crave. Buffering with these false pleasures to avoid your negative emotions (stress, overwhelm, anger, frustration, etc, choose your favorite go-to negative emotion for during the holidays!) will only make you feel worse.
So what does true self-care look like during the holidays? If it’s not binging Hallmark Holiday movies + candy canes, what is it? Keep reading below to see my top 4 Holiday Care Tips that will help get you through the season feeling more energized than drained.
Tip #1 – Schedule your joy/personal time on the calendar first!
If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years, it’s to prioritize your personal time and the things that provide you with joy on the calendar. You will probably want to focus on the work tasks first + the things that you feel that you “should” do first. But if you don’t prioritize your personal time guess what ends up happening? You work into your “joy time” and then it never happens + you end up filled with resentment. You cancel on your friends + family, and work into the wee hours of the night.
Make planning your personal time on the calendar each week your priority. Then fill in your schedule with specific times that you will do your work tasks. Once that work block time ends + your personal time begins, you close work up. Do not allow your personal time to turn into “overflow” time. No exceptions. Do you want to know why? Because when you allow yourself time for joy + to decompress, it will actually allow you to focus better during your “work” times because you are mentally refreshed.
Tip #2 – Move your Body
As someone that worked in the fitness industry for over a decade, maybe I’m a little bit partial, but this is one of the best ways to take care of yourself during the holidays. Not only will it help you from a physical standpoint – helping to balance some of the extra holiday indulgences, but also from a mental standpoint. When you exercise, your body releases endorphins which will help reduce your brain’s perception of pain. It also releases dopamine + serotonin which will improve your mood – helping to relieve some of the anxiety + stress that you are feeling. You don’t need to go run a 5k every morning to reap the benefits, but even if you get out and walk a mile a few times each week, it can make all the difference!
Tip #3 – Take Care of your Mind
Most of the time, when you are stressed and you got shit to do, you can be bothered with processing your emotions. You shove them aside, give yourself a quick fix (that sugary candy cane…I see it hiding in your drawer! Wink.), and try to push through. You want to avoid the negative emotions or change them. Do you know what happens when you do this? Eventually, it will implode or explode. The best thing to do is to allow them + process through them and realize that allowing these negative vibrations in your body won’t kill you. And processing them will actually get easier over time. Try taking 5-10 minutes when you are feeling negative emotions to do some journaling. Get those thoughts out on paper. Do some meditation + deep breathing to allow yourself to become aware of your present moment. Try a quick yoga flow. Whatever works for you! But when you can get down to the deep root cause of what is stressing you out, you will be better prepared to clear your mind of all the clutter + create the results you desire during this season.
Tip #4 – Slow down + Embrace the Joy around you
During this time of year you are likely to just go, go, go with the hustle + bustle that when it’s all over and done, you ask yourself, “What just happened?!” The season will be over + you never really took a moment to embrace the joy that comes with the season. Take a moment and laugh. Smile. Breathe in the scents of the season. Getting away from “what needs to be done” so you can focus on “what is” right in front of you is so important! Remember that there is no such thing as “perfection”, so if you allow yourself to slow down, stop focusing on the negatives of the season, + focus on what is beautiful around + within you right now, you will be so much farther ahead.
I know that many of you are goal-oriented, selfless women that are constantly trying to help + serve those around you that you often find yourself last. This holiday season, make sure that your own personal peace is TOP of mind. This is what matters most. Because when you serve from a full cup, the cup overflows to everyone around you.
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Tell us your favorite tips for how you like to practice self-care for the holidays!
Do you have some tricks up your sleeve for how you get through the holidays + minimize the stress? Post in the comments below!