Listen up. Self-care is my jam. So much so that I consider myself a Holistic Self-care Ringleader. Self-care is NECESSARY. We are worth prioritizing, and practicing self-care makes us powerful and badass.
This practice becomes incredibly important as we head into the holidays. I know I've felt it - stressed, rundown, and sick. When November and December hit, we are more likely to be spending our time socializing, hustling and bustling, spending more, doing more, eating more, and sleeping less. We are putting the needs of others before our own and going out of our way to make sure that everyone who crosses our path has the best holiday ever. This takes a major toll on our bodies, minds, and souls!
If this sounds familiar, you're going to want to check out these simple ways to take care of yourself as we head into the holidays.
Create a morning (or evening!) routine
Make a bit of time for yourself every day, even if it's only 5 minutes!
Getting up while the house is quiet and building a routine starts your day off right and with intention. But for the sake of transparency, I will freely admit that I am NOT a morning person! My favourite time is at night when the house is calm and quiet. I use this time to sit in silence with a cup of hot tea, journal, meditate, and just be present.
Go outside. Take a walk. Don't do this with the intention of burning calories or getting your exercise in. If it's cold, bundle up and just notice to magic of mother nature. Breathe.
Respect the budget
It's easy to go crazy over the holidays with gifts, events, and other holiday activities. Set a budget and stick to it. One way my family and I have succeeded at this is we only do four small presents for the kids: Something you want, Something you need, Something you do, Something you read. This keeps it consistent and simple. With our extended family, we do Secret Santa with a price limit. Instead of buying dozens of gifts for parents, siblings, in-laws, etc., we only buy for our Secret Santa. A win-win!
Fill your own cup
You can't be present, intentional, and grateful when you're burnt out and pouring from an empty cup. To truly appreciate the holidays, make a point to do things that uplift you and nourish your body, mind, and soul.
Prioritize and unschedule
Make room for holiday magic and cancel activities when you're feeling over scheduled. Release any guilt around saying no. Remember what is important to you and prioritize events and activities that bring you joy.
Listen to your body
Self-care is more than just bubble baths and candles. Pay attention to your thoughts and feelings. Check in with your expectations and be sure to notice your interactions. Set and keep your personal boundaries.
Do things that make you laugh and bring you joy. Spend time with people who fill your cup and make you laugh until you cry. Dance in the kitchen with your kids, watch silly moves, and just let it all out.
Write it down
We don't always need to say out-loud what is on our mind. Write it down to clear your mind and release any negative thoughts, feelings, and stress.
Take a social media break. Better yet, turn the phone off and be truly present, even if just for a few hours. You'll be amazed at how freeing it is.
I start my day by quickly writing down 10 things that I am grateful for. It helps set the tone for the day and allows me to begin each day with a full heart.
Another way to practice gratitude is to give. Donate your clothes, non-perishable food items, or money (if your budget allows). Or donate your time and volunteer at a local soup kitchen or seniors' centre. Every action counts and you can always make a difference.
Breathe in. Breathe out. Repeat. If you're worried, frustrated, stressed, anxious, tired, overwhelmed, confused... whatever it is, just breathe. Start there and then tackle the rest.
The holidays are for spending time with friends and family. Don't spend this time trying to please people or control the outcome. Just love.
Taking care of yourself over the holidays (and always!) is really just the best gift we can be giving ourselves and our loved ones this holiday season.