5 Ways You Can Incorporate More Self Care into the Busy Holiday Season
The holiday season can be one of the happiest times of the year, but it also can be the most stressful. We all know the panic that holiday shopping can bring as you try to find the perfect gift for everyone on your list in time for the holidays. So it might not be surprising that the stress of the holidays can be so consuming that can harm our physical health by suppressing our immune system, interfering with sleep, and growing anxiety.
That said, it’s incredibly important during this time of the year to factor in time for your own self-care. It’s very easy to forget to value your mental health with all of the other hectic things on your plate at the end of the year, but you should never let a busy schedule distract you from your own wellbeing.
Here are 5 tips to help you incorporate more time into your self-care routine during the busy holiday season.
#1 Get crafty
If there’s ever a time to get crafty, it’s during the holiday season. Everyone seems to be baking uniquely shaped cookies, decorating gingerbread houses, and making their own ornaments to hang up on the tree.
Take advantage of this crafty time and do a little DIY project of your own by making your own self-care products. You could make a body scrub, bath bomb, or even your own candles! To stay in the holiday spirit, try to use scents like pumpkin, gingerbread, cranberry, cinnamon, and balsam fir. Creating and using these products will give you time to relax and unwind while staying in the holiday mood!
#2 Maximize your opportunities for exercise
Finding motivation to exercise during the holidays is nearly impossible. It gets dark outside earlier, the weather is colder, and staying wrapped up in a blanket on the couch having movie marathons is much more tempting than going on a jog. Tempting as it may be, neglecting exercise is a bad step for your self-care. Exercise increases endorphins and decreases stress levels—so the more consistently we exercise, the better we will feel.
Don’t let the pressures of having to schedule in time stop you from working out this holiday season. Instead, learn strategies to maximize your opportunities for exercise. A simple tactic is to always take the stairs instead of the elevator when you have the option. You can also maximize your holiday shopping by speed walking to get your heart rate elevated.
When you just can’t find the motivation to leave your home and head to the gym, find ways to workout in your own home. Chairs and steps can be useful tools for working out, and any heavy objects that you can hold can be used as weights for resistance training. You can also up your at-home workout game with just a few simple fitness props.
#3 Take advantage of sleep
Having good quality sleep goes a long way in your own self-care. If you aren’t consistently sleeping at least seven to nine hours each night and experiencing quality sleep, you will start to experience symptoms of sleep deprivation including drowsiness and trouble concentrating. To keep yourself sane through the holiday season, make sure you’re taking advantage of sleep.
Many people face trouble sleeping due to stress clouding their minds, noise or light disruptions, or discomfort in their sleeping position or in their bed. Set yourself up for your best night’s sleep by eliminating your stress with a wind down routine each night. This can include doing light yoga stretches, diffusing essential oils such as lavender or chamomile, taking a warm bath, or reading a book. Also, be sure to create a sleeping environment that is free from distractions (including screens!).
#4 Consider food as fuel
The holiday season is typically filled with huge feasts with family and friends. If you have one or more of these feasts planned for the holidays, try to be intentional about your food choices.
Because the holiday season is such a stressful time, your body will need the right nutrients to fuel it. Particularly, these include vitamin C, the B vitamins, and magnesium. Fill your diet with colorful fruits and vegetables, proteins like chicken, turkey, and eggs, and foods with magnesium like pumpkin seeds, leafy greens, and black beans. These foods will keep your energy high and help keep your immune system strong.
#5 Spend 30 minutes on yourself each day
Following the holidays at the end of the year, you’ll (hopefully!) be able to relax a little more than usual. Make the most of this opportunity by devoting 30 minutes to yourself each day doing whatever boosts your mood. Whether it’s building a puzzle, spending time with family, or reading a book, find the activities that bring you joy. Devoting this time to your own happiness each day will help you beat the holiday stress and make it through with a positive attitude. And try to keep up the habit going into the new year—it’s a great habit to build on!
Liked these tips? Let us know what you think in the comments below. And if you have a tip for incorporating self-care into your holiday routine that wasn’t listed above, please share!