Traditionally, the holiday season was a time for families and friends to come together and reconnect. A time to celebrate the events of the year (LOL), share small but well-crafted, thoughtful gifts and to give thanks and acknowledge the passing of another year.
You know what it’s like…happy parents smiling lovingly at one another, enjoying a small glass of wine, while the kids play beautifully in front of a roaring fire and snow drifts gently down outside…Hmm…anyone recognising this? Anyone? No? I thought not. Stupid movies.
In reality, people are more likely to find you crying into your stuffing as you try to remember how many hours per pound the turkey needs to cook, what the actual point of this is in the first place, and why you thought it was a good idea to offer to host Christmas dinner this year, while steadily consuming your body weight in wine and mince pies to try and relieve the horrendous stress of creating ‘#ThePerfectChristmas’.
All while the kids either fight over the remote, new gadgets or newly broken toys. Or, if they are a little older, disappear into their rooms with their phones until they are forced to descend the stairs for a ‘happy’ Christmas dinner followed by the traditional family Christmas argument. Merry Christmas everyone!
After the year we’ve had, I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s been secretly thinking that they just can’t deal with any more stress and hassle this year. Christmas? Who decided to put that at the end of the year!?
But in reality (even though it may increase our stress levels exponentially) I’m sure many people will want to make up for the numerous losses and disappointments of the past 9 months and feel driven to make Christmas amazing. I’m with you all the way. In fact, my tree is already up!
So, knowing that we will all continue to rush around, try to do far too many things and make hundreds of promises we will probably regret, I have put together a comprehensive list of 25 practical ways to self-care over the holiday period. You might want to do one a day or save them up and have a proper self-care weekend.
Whatever you decide to do, make sure you take time to look after yourself and your wellbeing. You will find it much easier to overcome unexpected challenges and look after others if you have looked after yourself first. Enjoy!
1. Give Yourself Permission to Practice Self-care!
You probably put everyone else first, but this is a sure fire way to feeling exhausted and stressed. Make 15 minutes every day and do something just for you. You deserve it!
2. Go for a Walk Outside - preferably somewhere green.
Get those thermals on, wrap up warmly, breathe in the fresh air and enjoy the magic. Just a 10 minute walk can improve your mood for 2 hours!
3. Create a Little Morning Routine.
Try spending 5-15 minutes sitting quietly with a cup of tea before everyone else is up. Use the time to meditate, plan or journal. Finish with a positive affirmation such as ‘I am strong enough to overcome life’s challenges’.
4. Respect Your Budget.
Once you have worked out what you can afford, stick to your budget! Be open with your family and think about creating a Christmas budget together. You will be setting a great example! (This might not feel like self-care, but trust me, prioritising this now will definitely help you feel more relaxed and happier in the long-term.)
5. Pay Attention to Your Screen Time.
It’s easy to spend hours falling into a social media blackhole, drooling over ‘The Perfect Christmas’ or to spend more time searching for gifts online than sleeping! Feeling pressure to compete with others can lead to frustration, depression and overspending. Try to be aware of how much time you are spending on line and make sure you take some phone breaks. Staying present (no pun intended) and enjoying the moment are more important than Instagram likes!
6. Take a Bath.
Relaxing in a warm bath with candlelight and some essentials oils can provide a welcome escape at this time of year. Try using Kiss The Moon’s Bedtime Bath Salts or Westlab’s Mulled Wine Festive Bathing Salts or for a relaxing and joyful experience, check out The Guilded Bee’s Joy Bath Soak.
Before Christmas Day, spend an hour getting rid of any broken toys or ornaments, old magazines and newspapers; mismatched, warped or damaged plastic food storage boxes, receipts you don’t need, shoes you haven’t worn in 5 years, old makeup, skincare you don’t use and sun-cream from last year. Doing this will give you sense of accomplishment and also create more space!
8. Get Active!