The busiest time of year is upon us. Holidays are meant to be spent enjoying the company of family, dear friends, and our loved ones. However, somehow the holidays can sometimes become more stressful than any other time of year. We all have huge parts to play in the enjoyment of the holidays and if we aren’t taken care of we can’t do our parts. Here are a few self-care tips to help you survive the holidays.
1. Give yourself permission to take care of you. For as long as I have been old enough to notice, we have been taught that this time of the year is all about the happiness of others. A person almost feels bad if they dare to think of buying themselves something, and to me that is 100% unacceptable. When you feel like you are pouring out all that you have, whether it be time, money, emotion, or attention, there is a time that you must refuel. The only way that you can refuel is to step away and do something for yourself. Doing something for yourself isn’t always spending money on something you don’t need or don’t have. Doing something for yourself can be taking yourself out to lunch by yourself. Buy yourself a coffee then take it to the park for a walk. Treat yourself to a movie. Schedule a few hours that you aren’t expected to be anywhere or do anything and spend that time napping, watching your favorite show, and simply focusing on you. Refusing yourself time, especially when you’re in the midst of giving so much to others, is a recipe for resentment, as well as added unnecessary holiday stress. Make sure you are taking time for you.
2. Everything in moderation. Most people are all or nothing in many things they do. There are few people who have mastered the art of moderation, however those who have tend to live more balanced lives where they aren’t governed by impulse, but rather meticulous choices. Don’t feel as though you must exercise twice a day due to all the holiday parties you were invited to, but don’t feel that you must try everything that is offered at the party. Be picky, and ask yourself what really sounds good, what will nourish your body, and how will you feel after consuming this or that. Sometimes the reward is way worth the splurge, but sometimes the splurge ends with a mind full of guilt and disappointment. Whatever battle you choose to win or give into, make sure that you take responsibility for your choices and protect yourself from the guilt that may come along with those choices. It’s okay to indulge, just don’t allow it to take over your mind with guilt.
3. Schedule time away from the holiday hustle and bustle. Time is something that is so precious, yet time passes so quickly. It is so easy to get so focused on the holidays between the celebrations, parties, and festivities that you lose sight of what’s most important, and that is family and loved ones. Schedule a day or two where you and your family take a short trip to get away from the holiday hustle and bustle. Travel somewhere new or somewhere you just don’t get to go often. Stop at unique attractions and experience something new with your family. Plan a fun night that’s maybe July in December where you go to the heated pool at your local gym and cook hotdogs and hamburgers indoors. Allowing yourself to get away from the holiday to do list will help you to destress and recharge so that you can enjoy the upcoming festivities.
4. Say no. If you work with people in any capacity, or have a big family, there is a very large chance that you will be invited to many holiday festivities. Once you receive the invitations, sit down and prioritize the gatherings you would really like to attend, making sure that you give yourself time to truly enjoy the festivities with your own little family. Once you have prioritized the parties, don’t feel bad for turning an invitation down. You can’t spread yourself and family so thin that you wouldn’t be able to enjoy the celebration anyway. It’s okay to say no to the extra potluck that your work is throwing “just because” if you know you won’t have time to prepare for it and you would just stress about it. If it doesn’t feel right, or if the answer yes doesn’t easily flow out of your mouth in the situation it’s okay to say no. Your life experiences should be filled with things you enjoy doing versus things you feel guilted or forced into doing.
5. Schedule a massage. Finally, the best way to relieve the stress from the holiday hustle and bustle is scheduling a massage. The holidays are a busy time of year, and chances are that your body and mind are feeling the effects of it. Getting a massage not only releases your tense muscles and eases pain, but it also relaxes you and takes you away from the stress of the holidays. Think of it as a gift to yourself. You deserve it!
Everyone loves to see the holidays coming, but once they are here it seems as if there is no time to truly enjoy them and you’re just going through the motions. These tips can help you to enjoy them as well as survive them and leave you recharged to start your new year off right.