The holiday season is a busy time of year, filled with endless celebrations and overindulgence with family and friends. But, as joyful as it may seem on the outside it can also be a challenging time, with lots of travel, planning, preparation and the need to strive for unattainable perfection.
Many people struggle to find time for themselves in this demanding festive period but it’s important to take care of yourself first and remember to practice self-care.
As you begin the holiday season by thinking about what you must do for others, it’s important to ensure that your happiness and health is your number one priority.
What is Self-Care?
Self-care is anything that feeds your body and mind. It isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. To summarize it is giving yourself gratitude and allowing yourself time. How you do this is up to you. It could be sitting in a coffee shop, gazing out of the window at passers-by or writing in your notebook. It could be going for a run or finding your zen at a local yoga class. It could be as simple as relaxing at home on the sofa reading a book.
Plan Ahead and Prioritize
During the holiday season it can be tempting to say yes to every invite you receive. Before you’ve had a chance to realize it, every minute of everyday is filled up with dinner dates, gift shopping, parties and family gatherings. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and that’s when the feelings of guilt and stress takes over.
To avoid a burn out, make sure you plan your events carefully. If you don’t already have a diary buy one, or if you have a smartphone utilize the abundance of organisation apps available for free. Most importantly, prioritize your own needs. It is not selfish to have boundaries and put yourself first.
Be Present with your Loved ones
This holiday season make your home a “no-work” environment and focus on spending quality time with your family and friends.
Getting involved in fun, traditional activities with friends and family is a great way to engage with your loved ones, and focuses your energy allowing you to be in the moment. By immersing yourself in the holiday traditions you enjoy, you will be feeding your spirit by improving your health and your overall well-being.
Us the holiday season and your commitment to self-care to empower you to enjoy the special moments with your friends and family.
Give yourself permission
Learning to say no is a vital part of maintaining a small amount of normality in your life during the holiday season. Whilst it is great to spend this time with loved ones it’s also extremely important to take a step back from the festivities to collect your thoughts and allow yourself to decompress.
Make sure you’re open and honest with your family and when you need some time for self-care be honest and they will understand.
Give up Expectations
The holidays can set us up for unrealistic expectations and disappointment. It is thought of as the most ‘magical’ time of year, and we are constantly searching for the perfect holiday season. This is not always possible for everyone. Past experiences, the loss of a loved one, the loss of a job and financial security can be amplified during this time of year. So, this season give up on your expectations of the perfect family with the perfect tree, whilst hosting the perfect parties with the perfect gifts.
As you focus your attention away from perfection you open yourself up to experiencing greater joy in the reality of the moment.
Find Ways to Give Back
Sometimes during the season of giving all you really have to give is time. This could be asking a friend if they need help or someone to talk to, or volunteering at your local homeless shelter, or simply lending a hand to someone in need.
Serving others is not a monetary gesture, it is about helping where you can, sharing and giving your time. Remember this should only be given within the boundaries of your limits and must not have a negative affect you.
Practicing self-care will allow you to create a more meaningful holiday season for you and your loved ones and will allow you to enjoy all the holiday festivities without this feeling of being overwhelmed.
What self-care habit will you adopt this holiday season? Let me know in the comments below. I’d love to hear if you have any other top tips and tricks for surviving the holiday season.