Self-Care in the Holidays
The holidays can be a beautiful and magical time of the year, but it can also be very stressful. Common stressors around this time of year are often lack of money, added appointments, trying to find the perfect gifts for your family, health issues, office parties, etc. all of this adds up quickly!
Self-care has recently become very hyped up in the media to promote wellness products but simply put, self-care is the practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress. To ensure you have another happy healthy holiday season try using some of these self-care tips around the holidays!
1. Make Time For Yourself
The holiday season is about spending time with friends and family but to be able to fulfill this you need to take care of yourself first. Whatever you like to do to destress make sure you spend a few hours a week fulfilling this. This can be things like taking a hot bath, painting, drawing, listening to a podcast, or even meditating. After you make sure you spend time for yourself, making time for others doesn’t seem that bad.
2. Keep Exercise Essential
Physical activity has been proven to reduce stress, improve mood and concentration, and even combat depression. During the holidays a lot of people will skip out on their exercise routine to make room for more seasonal activities. What you can do to maintain your regular exercise routine is have shorter workouts. If you are unable to go to the gym you could go for a walk or even try some light yoga from a YouTube class, 10 minutes is better than nothing at all.
3. Indulge in a Healthy Amount of Comfort Food
An abundance of Christmas parties or gift-giving occasions will often lead people to overindulge in eating and drinking. Yes, a little bit is perfectly fine but if you do not monitor this it is quite easy to gain 5-10lbs over the holiday season without even realizing it. One way to minimize binging around the holidays is to not go to holiday events hungry. Ensure you eat beforehand as this will allow you to enjoy a few snacks without overdoing it. If you thrive on holiday snacks you could even try to prepare healthier versions of classic snacks.
4. Practice Gratitude
Holidays are meant to be spent with friends and family and what better way to practice self-care by practicing gratitude. If you are unfamiliar with gratitude this is the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. Studies have shown that simply asking yourself “What am I grateful for?” increases dopamine and serotonin levels in your brain. Even if you are unable to come up with an answer, asking these questions helps build stronger pathways in your brain.
5. Maintain Your Sleep
SLEEP. This is the last and most crucial aspect of self-care during the holidays and really any time of the year. Lack of sleep can lead to weight gain, additional stress, and irritability. It’s common that sleep is usually lacking around this time of year due to added holiday events, or staying up late wrapping gifts. Often cutting back on caffeine and limiting your screen time at night will help you fall asleep much better. After all, a well-rested person will end up enjoying all of the holiday events much more than someone who is fighting to stay awake during them.
We hope these self-care tips resonate with you, and that you have a happy and healthy holiday season!