These holiday self care tips will help you to reduce stress and keep your sanity. Learn how to practice self care over the holidays!
The holidays can be an incredibly stressful time for many people. All the pressure of buying gifts, overeating, gaining weight, planning parties, cooking and being with family for extended periods can bring a great amount of emotional stress.
I mean, I’ve cooked a whole Thanksgiving dinner before and it’s soooo stressful – and that’s just one day. That on top of crowded malls, packed schedules and traveling can just be so much to handle.
The holidays are supposed to be fun and relaxing, but they rarely are. However, I think it’s important to take steps to make them that way!
These holiday self care tips will help you to stay calm, feel happy and reduce (or even eliminate) the excess stress you are feeling. I HIGHLY recommend implementing all of these during the holidays!
Exercise will keep your endorphins flowing, helping to reduce stress and keep you feeling good. Exercise helps to improve your mood, as well as combating depression and anxiety.
And it only takes a few minutes a day. Take 5-10 minutes 3 times a day to do some light to moderate exercise and you’ll start feeling much better! If you don’t have time to get to the gym, these At Home Workout Programs are perfect.
I used to take the whole month of December off from working out as a “treat” for myself. Then a couple years ago the boyfriend mentioned how depressed I always am when I take this so called “break.” Quitting the workouts and eating poorly was just making me feel depressed.
And here I always just thought it was the holidays. So get some exercise. It’ll do you good.
Get Enough Sleep
I mean, we’ve all been told a million times how lack of sleep can affect our well being. But with all the busy holiday days and late nights out at parties, it’s very easy to start feeling all that comes with lack of sleep.
Anxiety, depression, just plain tiredness and irritability. And who wants all that in a time you’re supposed to be feeling good and happy?
If you’re having trouble sleeping, try cutting back on caffeine, drink less alcohol (I know it’s hard during this season, but I promise you’ll feel better if you limit those drinks!), and try not to gorge on snacks right before bed. Try these Tips for Sleeping Better.
Christmas cookies and treats, we’re looking at you…
So try to get at least 6-8 hours of sleep a night (it varies by person – I personally only need 6, but the boyfriend likes his full 8). Not to mention this is one of the Daily Habits of Successful People.
If you take just a couple minutes out of each day to think about what you’re grateful for, it can make a HUGE difference in your daily outlook. Whenever I find myself feeling down and like nothing is going my way, I list what I am grateful for.
Thinking positively helps you in many of the same ways that exercising does, by increasing dopamine in the brain. That natural “feel good” drug.
A good way to get started on this is to start journaling. But I know that sometimes it’s hard to put pen to paper. So I came up with 52 Journal Prompts that will help you get started.
Take Time for Yourself
With all the shopping to do, coffee with friends, gifts to buy, parties to attend, and kids to entertain, you can start to feel like you’re constantly on the run. Going from one thing to another. Not to mention travel plans and ALL. THAT. FAMILY.
So taking the time to do things for yourself is vitally important. Take some time each day, or at least a few times a week if you can’t swing each day, for just yourself.
You can even consider having a full blown DIY spa day right at home! It’s cheap and you can take the time to reset.
Get your nails done, have a bath or massage, hit some baseballs or go to the driving range (try these 15 Cheap Ways to Pamper Yourself). Whatever you want. Personally, I like to take a drive. There is nothing like a nice drive with the music on to help clear your head!
Watch What You Eat
Cramming a bunch of unhealthy dinners, drinks, and treats in your system can lead you to feeling bad about yourself. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with a little indulgence, and you should never feel guilty about that.
But day after day, meal after meal is just not healthy. Mix the indulgences in with some healthy snacks and meals and you’ll thank yourself. Learn How to Avoid Junk Food Cravings
Buy Yourself a Gift (Treat Yourself)
“Treat Yo’self” so the saying goes. I mean seriously, buy yourself a little feel-good gift. Doesn’t need to break the bank (actually it shouldn’t, we’re not talking about buying yourself a new Prada – unless that doesn’t break the bank), but a little something that makes you feel happy.
Prepare a Budget
If all the expenses of the holidays is what stresses you out, making a budget is a MUST. But even more important than making a budget is following that budget.
Learn how to use a Bullet Journal for Budgeting.
There is nothing more stressful than spending more money than you have. Knowing there will be this huge bill coming in January and you’re not sure how you’ll pay for it. If you create a budget and stick to it, you’ll eliminate all that stress and anxiety.
Plus, remember that you don’t have to spend a fortune on the holidays. It’s not all about the money.
Learn To Enjoy The Present
With all running around, planning parties, shopping, and gift wrapping, sometimes it can be hard to enjoy the present. And there is so much to enjoy.
It’s important to take some time out and just be present in the moment. You don’t want to spend the whole time planning this great holiday experience, and not actually spend any time enjoying the holidays.
Because let’s be honest, the actual day of the holiday doesn’t last long. So why not enjoy all the time building up to it as well.
If you do overindulge, or skip a workout, or spend just a little over your budget, try not to feel guilty about it. It’s ok to not be perfect.
There is no reason to feel guilty if you stumble a bit. Give yourself a break.
Do Something Fun/Laugh
These are the holidays, have a little fun! This is supposed to be the time of year that we experience joy.
Make sure to take time to laugh and have fun. Watch funny movies, go see Christmas lights, whatever makes you feel happy. Try these Fun Christmas Activities.
In Conclusion: Practicing Holiday Self Care
It’s important to make sure you take the time to take care of yourself during the holidays. These holiday self care practices can help you reduce anxiety and depression, and give you the tools to actually enjoy the moments you are in.
It’s a shame to go through the holidays feeling stressed as it can be such a wonderful time to spend with friends and family…and yourself.
What do you do to reduce stress during the holidays? Leave a comment below and let me know!