The holiday season is a magical and joyous time, but all too often stressors, loneliness and feelings of overwhelm are magnified. So while you’re spreading love, joy and peace to others, don’t forget to shine a little on yourself, too.
Self-care practices are the best way to ensure you are taking the best care of yourself. What is self-care you ask? It’s non-negotiable activities that you do for yourself to take care of your mind, body and spirit. It’s not about being selfish, or about being selfless, it’s about giving yourself some attention so that you can continue to care for others, too.
Here are 11 of our favourite ideas for practicing self care during the holidays. Choose a few that work best for you and put them into action this month as we head into the holiday season.
Caring for your mind is extremely important at this time of year, especially with stressors at every turn. This time of year can also highlight feelings of anxiety, depression and loneliness, especially if finances are tight or there has been a recent loss of a loved one. A few ways to wrap your mind in love include:
- Mindfulness and/or Meditations: We love Headspace and Gabrielle Bernstein for wonderful meditations to provide your mind with clarity and peace in the midst of the madness.
- Journaling: Well.ca carries some beautiful notebooks to jot down all of the thoughts running through your mind this season.
- Turning Off & Tuning Out: We know that Netflix bingeing is all the rage right now, but we’d like to encourage you to decrease screen time. Turn off your cell phone, iPad, computer, TV, video games, etc. Pick up a good book, play a game or go for a walk instead.
With cookies and parties and alcohol galore, it’s easy to wind up feeling terrible by the end of the season. Here are a few ways to keep yourself in tip top shape.
- Move: Do your best to squeeze in some movement during the holiday madness. It could be as little as a walk around the office, or as much as an intense gym session. Either way, your body will thank you with an endorphin and energy boost.
- Eat Well: Relying solely on a diet of holiday cookies and eggnog isn’t the best plan. Do your best to maintain regular, healthy eating habits during this time of year.
- Stay Hydrated: Holiday parties = lots of holiday drinks. Do the water trick. For every glass of alcohol, have a glass of water in between.
- Sleep: Rest will be a key way to keep your energy up and your mood at its best during this time of year. We love this beautiful sleep mask with soothing lavender to help you rest your best.
- Supplement: If you’re really feeling out of whack, then book an appointment with your naturopathic doctor to take advantage of your last few extended medical benefits dollars and receive education on the best supplements for you.
This time of year often becomes about the gifting rather than the spirit of the season. If you have cultural and/or religious spiritual affiliations, don’t forget to honour them during this time of year. Wonderful ways to connect with your spirit include:
- Prayer & Gratitude: Spend a few minutes each day connecting with your higher being and give thanks for the many gifts you have here on earth.
- Meaningful Connections: Take some time this season to call a friend or family member in need to spread some holiday cheer their way.
- Giving: There are so many people across Canada and the world who do not have the ability to celebrate the holidays. Giving back to your community through acts of service will spread love and kindness to so many in need during this time of year.
We wish you all the beauty and peace of this time of year. Happy Holidays! Here’s to your best health through self care.
Dr. Maryska Taylor and Dr. Rachel Corradetti are naturopathic doctors practicing out of Toronto. They offer concierge naturopathic medical services to their patients throughout the GTA via home and Skype visits.