If self-care doesn’t come naturally, and you still insist on putting everything else before your own needs, you probably go into Holiday Frenzy mode this time of year. You go out of your way to make sure everything is ready, and everyone has the “best holiday ever.” Sound familiar?
We can feel drained, exhausted, over-stimulated, and by the time Christmas Day rolls around, we are no longer our best selves! There are so many benefits of self care, and a little can go a long way during a busy season like the holidays.
Because this is the time of year for stress and anxiety and frustration AND perfectionism, it’s super important to remember to take care of YOU this holiday season. Mum friends I know tie themselves in knots trying to make the time magical for their kids. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. But my message to you is this: please, please, please look after yourself.
Somewhere and somehow we have convinced ourselves that we are superhuman. Gosh… could it be because we sort of are: making sure everyone gets to where they need to be, dressed how they are supposed to dress, decorating the house/presents/cookies/etc, getting gifts for everyone under the sun, sending out all the cards, attending all required holiday functions, cooking/cleaning/hosting, shopping, and doing our best to make Christmas a magical experience? (Whew. That made me tired just typing all that).
Give yourself a break every now and again to meet a friend for coffee or head to the spa for an hour or three. Bring those expectations down a bit and realise that the holidays are NOT sitting squarely on your shoulders alone.
We sleep less, eat what we don’t normally eat, play more, and plan more. And all of this can have a major effect on us by the time January rolls around. So, to make this a successful holiday and reduce your holiday stress, I am sharing some of the most important ways to take care of yourself throughout the season.
Time Out: Mark your calendar with “me time.” Read a good book. Relax in a hot bath.
Eat healthy: I know it’s tempting to gorge on whatever’s around or order takeout every night, but I seriously promise you that you will feel way better and more energized if you actually get some nutrients in your diet. Eat your veg and drink water, too!
Filter your self talk: Pay attention to what you tell yourself. Don’t give in to negativity.
Less is MORE: Watch the expectations this holiday. We have a tendency to compare ourselves to others and by doing this we set ourselves up for a fall. “This holiday is going to be the BEST EVAR!” is something kids say… not grownups. Because really, children don’t have to do all the work of Christmas and don’t realise how much really goes into a holiday. Give yourself permission to have a simpler Christmas. I mean really… do you think anyone will REALLY notice that you have one less strand of lights this year? Or that you didn’t make 10 different types of cookies?
Be mindful: It’s of the utmost importance that you ground yourself when things start to feel too crazy. Take a moment to stop worrying about everything that needs to get done and focus on being here and now, in the moment. Then do it few times daily, whenever you feel you need it.
Sleep: Do not, I repeat, do NOT cut corners on sleep. Lack of sleep causes all sorts of crankiness and stress. Sleeping will keep your immune system ticking, your brain happy and your cells energized.
Relax: For me, it’s curling up with a good book and a glass of Prosecco for a little while. Whatever helps you relax, make sure you find a way to do it at least a few times a week.
Ask for help: You don’t have to do everything yourself. Really, you don’t. Be willing to reach out and ask for help, whether it’s to request that guests bring a dish to the Christmas party or that you have your family help you clean for guests. It doesn’t have to be PERFECT. Remember this.
Most of all… don’t sweat it: Look, it’s just one day out of 365. The best thing you can do for yourself, and everyone else around you, to remember that if something goes wrong, it is not the end of the world.
This holiday does not have to be perfect to be enjoyable or full of memory-worthy moments you’ll cherish for years to come. So let go of the perfect ‘ideal’ and slow down long enough to enjoy what’s happening before your very eyes. These are the moments that are magical!
Do you take care of yourself at the holidays? Is it a ‘tradition’ for you to feel stressed this time of year? What do you do for self care around Christmas? I’d love to hear all about it on Facebook,Twitter, and Instagram.