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It’s that time of the year
Holidays are a great time to connect with families and friends, but it can also be stressful. There’s a lot of preparation, coordination, and expectations during this time. Oftentimes, conflict, tension, and pressure arise during this time.
It’s especially important to be intentional during this time of the year. We can get caught up in the little details that we sometimes forget what this season represents. It’s the time to enjoy the company of others.
When we’re surrounded by the pressure and expectations of others, it’s easy to feel frustrated and dislike the season. I understand, sometimes I just want to stay away from family gatherings! This is the reason why it’s important to know how to practice self-care during this time.
Why self-care isn’t selfish
Imagine yourself as a pitcher (stay with me…). Every day you go through the motions of your life, work, relationships, families, etc. Every time you do something for example work on a project, talk to someone, and other activities, it’s as if you’re pouring water to other people’s cup. Once your pitcher is empty, you have to refill yourself. The act of refilling yourself is self-care.
It is not being selfish. It’s taking the time to be mindful of your body and health. It is about taking care of yourself inside and out. Caring for yourself is a priority.
Here are tips to practice self-care during the holidays
Tip#1: Listen to your body
Learn how to listen to your body. When you’re sick, the body gives you signals. Every day you body is giving you signals, you just have to listen to it.
Your body has an internal thermometer. If something feels right, you know it feels right. If someone feels wrong, you can feel it. Try practicing being more connected to your body.
Tip#2: Take timeout
If you need time alone, take some time to clear your head or be alone. Go for a walk and breathe in fresh air to clear your mind and release tension. If you can’t get out of the house and you need to lock yourself in the bathroom to have some peace and quiet, do it! You don’t need permission to be alone.
Tip#3: Figure out your priorities
Figure out what’s important to you and make those a priority. List out your top 3 priorities that are non-negotiable and everything else can take a backseat to those priorities. Create clear boundaries with your projects and/or family members, if needed.
Tip#4: Say no, it’s okay
You have the power to say no. If what you’re doing doesn’t align to your priorities, you can gracefully decline. Also, in situations where you feel like you’re taking on too many things on your plate, it’s completely understandable to say no. Saying no to certain things allows you to focus more on your priorities and do them excellently and give other people opportunities to focus on their part.
Tip#5: Give up expectations
You can only do and handle so much. Don’t let other people’s expectations or your expectations dampen the holiday. Nothing in life is going to be perfect. So throw off those expectations and just have a ball! Smile, laugh and have a great time with your loved ones.
Tip#6: Set healthy boundaries
Creating healthy boundaries are for your benefit. It avoids feeling burn out, taken advantage of, and lack of self-esteem. It promotes healthy relationship and self-awareness. One way to set a healthy boundary this season is by being aware of your feelings and preferences. How does the task make you feel? Will you feel good after or resentment? Tuning in to your gut and feelings will help you set a healthy boundary.
Tip #7 Get active
What better way to take care of yourself by being active? Exercise is a great tool to not only get healthy but it decreases anxiety, lowers blood pressure and feeling stressed. Go workout and take your mind off of the holiday season to focus on yourself. Plus, you keep you from feeling guilty if you decide to overindulge yourself.
Tip #8 Get support from others
Surround yourself with people you love and trust. Schedule time to meet with them for coffee or brunch. Having a good support system will make this time of the year even more enjoyable and special.
For those that don’t have close friends, friends don’t necessarily need to be someone you’re in the same town with. In the current digital age we live in, most people are becoming friends through social media. If you don’t know where to begin, start with your favorite social media. If it’s Instagram, look for other people and start a conversation with them. For Facebook, join a Facebook group.
Tip#9 Practice gratefulness
There’s something magical about practicing gratitude, but yet it’s all so practical. When you practice gratefulness, it shifts your brain and you see things differently. When my husband and I practice gratefulness, we feel happier and are more optimistic.
A few benefits of practicing gratitude includes decreasing pain levels, stress, anxiety
Tip#10 Morning routine
Morning routine is one of the ways I practice self-care on a daily basis. If you haven’t tried it, you can check on the last post I wrote on How to Get Started on Your Morning Routine. As I mentioned in that post, “Creating a morning routine is being intentional of your day. It is taking the time for yourself and for things that matter to you.”
Holidays tend to be busy and you can feel like you’re running with your head cut off. By having a morning routine, it helps you prioritize what matters to you.
Holidays and depression
I didn’t want to leave this section out, because it’s important. Depression increases during the holiday. I had a friend who was a dispatcher and she told me that holidays are the worst times for her and her team. It’s because a lot of people get depressed during this time and want to commit suicide. There are many different reasons why some people get depressed, but a few reasons including loss of family members and financial hardship.
If you’re one of them, please consider talking to someone. Here is the number for the Suicide Prevention Lifeline – 1-800-273-8255. They also have a chat available if you feel comfortable that way.
Holidays can be stressful, but I hope these 5 tools will you help have a more enjoyable holiday this year. At the end of it all, holidays are to bring people together to share
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