The holidays are a very exciting time of year. It is a time for families to come together, to enjoy company, and an opportunity to reflect on the past year and make plans for positive changes. It can also be a stressful time and might be associated with high expectations of self and others as well as an overwhelming to-do list.
Here are three tips for practicing self care during the holidays:
- Do things in moderation: This is a time of year when it is easy to over indulge. We can neglect healthy eating, spend more money than we can potentially afford, and deprive ourselves of a solid night's sleep. It's important to remember that a key element in practicing self care is to ensure things are done in moderation. The holidays do not have to be any different, especially with some planning!
- Adjust expectations: The holidays can set us up for unrealistic expectations. Many people struggle with increased anxiety and depression around this time of year. Just because it is supposed to be a joyful season, does not mean everyone feels happy. A helpful way to take care of yourself emotionally if you find yourself struggling is to shift your expectations of what the “perfect” holiday is supposed to look like. Allow yourself to let go of the illusions and enjoy the present moment.
- Involve your 5 senses: A great way to slow down and take in the holiday season is through your senses. When we involve our senses, we can experience things on different levels. Playing relaxing music, watching your favorite movie with a soft blanket, or lighting a scented candle are all examples of involving senses and giving ourselves an opportunity to decompress.
These are just a few ways to practice self care. With some practice tuning into your own needs, this time of year can feel more enjoyable and less stressful.