Updated: Mar 26
The holidays are an exciting time of year when we can celebrate the season with friends and family, often reconnecting after months apart. As wonderful as these celebrations are, they can also cause stress and anxiety; from cooking and cleaning to shopping and wrapping presents, your task list can quickly become overwhelming! If you find yourself feeling a bit grinch-like this seashttps://www.pinterest.com/TeeSVLifestyle/pins/on, take heart, you're not alone. In fact, over 38% of adults claim the holidays are a source of increased stress, not one of joy and merriment.
Fortunately, there are simple steps you can take to help make this holiday season less stressful and more enjoyable, a welcomed change for many! You can implement one (or all) of the self-care tips below to decompress and refocus your outlook, so this year can be a joyful and fulfilling holiday you will never forget. So, what are you waiting for? Let's take a look at some of the best self-care tips for the holiday!
Know Your Limits
One of the hardest words in the English language is "no," and it's no exception during the holidays. From trying to find the perfect presents to decorating the house, caring for your family, and working, it's no wonder burnout is so widespread. Knowing your limits is essential for setting healthy boundaries for yourself and others during the holidays, but for those limits to succeed, you must respect them. Don't let yourself fall into the "yes" trap, even in your own head. Remember, "no" is a valid response, and it doesn't require a follow-up explanation!
Manage Your Expectations
While social media is an excellent way to connect with others, it also sets unrealistic expectations for what you should accomplish. Pictures of beautifully decorated homes, perfect families, expansive feasts, and more can make you feel like an underachiever or, worse, a failure. Setting realistic expectations about what you can achieve during the holidays will help keep you from falling into the disappointment trap and stop you from taking on more than you can manage. It's also important to remember that what you see as you scroll through your feed is most often staged and fake, so don't compare your real life to those that are pretend.
Let Everything Out
The holidays can be a painful time for many, stirring up emotional pain, loneliness, sadness, and anxiety. Keeping these feelings and emotions bottled up inside can wreak havoc on your physical and mental well-being. Finding a trusted confidant to talk to, whether it be a therapist, friend, or family member, will help you release these feelings and regain your perspective. They don't have to offer advice (although it may be helpful); simply having someone to listen can often make all the difference in the world!
Sleep is often elusive during the holidays, either because you're trying to accomplish all of your daily tasks or your mind won't stop racing. While staying up late to complete your to-do list may sound tempting, it can have unexpected consequences. Without the proper amount of sleep, your immune system can't function correctly, you become easily irritated, your mind feels fuzzy, and you won't have enough energy to keep up with your kids and workload. Prioritizing getting at least seven to eight hours of sleep every night will help you stay alert and make it easier to manage your emotions and complete your errands without relying on excessive amounts of caffeine to get you through the day.
Hydration is no laughing matter, as it can mean the difference between feeling energized or exhausted. Dehydration can have surprising effects on the body, causing a lack of stamina, headaches, muscle cramps, and more. You should strive to drink around half your body's weight in ounces of water daily, which may seem like a lot at first but will quickly become an easier goal to obtain. Try carrying a reusable water bottle with you everywhere you go, or for those who don't like the taste of water, try infusing it with fruit for an added vitamin boost.
Don't Forget Your Vitamins
Speaking of a vitamin boost, remembering to take a daily multivitamin or probiotic as recommended by your practitioner can help you stay healthy during the craziness of the season. Your body can begin feeling run down from lack of sleep, stress, poor eating habits, and an overpacked schedule, which can quickly turn into getting sick. Don't spend your holiday stuck in bed as the family celebrates; safeguard your immune system with the high-quality vitamins it craves.
Ok, you may think telling yourself to breathe is a ridiculous tip, but you may be surprised to know how effective taking slow, controlled breaths can be to your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. When you take a deep breath, you deliver oxygen to your muscles, allowing them to relax and release tension. Deep breathing can also effectively lower blood pressure, mitigate anxiety and depressive feelings, and slow your heart rate. How? When you breathe deeply, it signals your vagus nervous system (the system responsible for telling your body to rest) to tell your parasympathetic nervous system to calm down. The result is a feeling of greater calm and relaxation throughout your entire body.
Take Time For Yourself
One of the best forms of self-care is taking time to pamper yourself. It's not about what you do as much as ensuring it's something you enjoy. You can choose to take a bath, go for a walk, read a book, or do any other activity that helps you unwind. When you take time for yourself, even if it's only ten or fifteen minutes, you allow your mind and body to reset, which is essential during the chaos that comes with the holiday season.
The holidays are an incredible time of year, but they can also make you feel overwhelmed. Combat seasonal burnout by taking time for self-care and prioritizing your mental, physical, and emotional health. When you feel energized and excited, you can truly enjoy all the wonder the holidays have to offer.
Surging Vibrations Lifestyle LLC
Licensed Clinical Therapist and
Self Care Life Coach