Keep Calm and Holiday On: Self-Care Ideas for the Holiday Season


It’s that time of year; the long awaited holiday season is upon us and has been flashing its colors in stores since November 1. The holidays are meant to be a time of joy and celebration, but for many can be a time of stress and struggle.  The added events with family and friends, end of year deadlines at work, and high expectations to find the best gifts while not draining your bank account can be overwhelming and suck some of the joy and cheer out of the festive season. The running we do to prepare for the holidays and actual holiday travel, near and far, leaves us physically and emotionally drained. If you’re one of the many who returns to work in January feeling like you need a vacation to recover, try some of these self-care tips to get you through. Close-up of Hand Holding Cup

Stick with your routine: Don’t forget about the healthy choices you make the other 11 months of the year!  Continue to work out, eat healthy and get plenty of sleep.  The better you feel, the better you’ll be when with family and friends and the easier it will be transitioning into 2018.

Pamper yourself: Schedule time for yourself and put it on the calendar.  Whether it’s a day at the spa, an at home mani/pedi, cuddling up with a good book or a holiday movie marathon, pick an activity you enjoy and make it happen.  Give yourself permission to focus on just you.

Lower your expectations: This holiday, give yourself a break and lower your self-expectations by taking things off your to-do list.  If store bought cookies under the Christmas tree or a pre-made dip for the work holiday party mean you get to bed at a reasonable time, then it’s worth it.

Say No/Don’t Over Commit: Make plans to spend time with people you enjoy.  This may mean saying no to a few gatherings and that’s okay.  Or, ask another family member to host the annual gathering, freeing up some of your time and energy to focus on your self-care.

Allow yourself to grieve:  During this time, many people remember losses over the holidays.  Take time to think about and remember those special people.

Shop online and in the comfort of your own home.  If you find that you have to go out into the hustle and bustle of stores, plan ahead and allow yourself enough time so you don’t feel rushed.

Give back and spend time focusing on others.  There are many volunteer opportunities this time of year. Check with your local paper for opportunities to give back.  Sometimes the best self-care is not focusing on ourselves at all, but rather the help and hope we can bring to others.