The holiday season is always one of my favorite seasons of the year – everything feels so cozy, warm, and joyful, and it’s fun to spend time with family and friends thinking back on the past year and looking forward to the next one.
Between my husband and I, we can have up to 4 different family gatherings to go to during the holidays – so if we’re not careful, it can definitely get stressful. I’m sure lots of you know what I’m talking about.
It’s common for people to think they just don’t have time for self care, but it really doesn’t have to take a lot of time! To help, I wanted to share my favorite ways to de-stress and practice self care during the holidays. After all, the holidays are supposed to be a fun, joyful time – not stressful!
It sounds simple enough, but it’s amazing how much we really do forget to breathe. Whenever I start to feel stressed, I like to close my eyes and spend 1-2 minutes taking slow, deep breaths. Sometimes I find something to meditate on or I imagine being in a peaceful setting. Out of all the things I do for self care, this one is the quickest and easiest – you can do it wherever, whenever, and it barely takes any time at all!
Getting Enough Sleep
I used to think I didn’t have time for sleep – now it’s pretty sacred to me. Sometimes it can be tempting to answer that last email, phone call, or text, but trust me – it’s worth setting boundaries around your sleep time so that you get enough rest. When you’re well-rested, I promise you will get so much more done, and you’ll get it done more efficiently than if you are sleep-deprived.
To improve my sleep quality, I also try to stay away from blue light at night – phones, computer screens, etc. If I absolutely have to, I like to wear blue light protection glasses at night so that the light doesn’t wake up my brain and keep me up later than I should be.
This one is more of a personal preference – I just like how warm tea feels in my hands and in my stomach. The warmth and smell just soothe me! I try to stay away from caffeinated tea because caffeine really amps me up, but if you can handle caffeine then go for it!
Showers are one of those things that you have to do anyway, so I like to take some extra steps to make it extra-relaxing. I love playing relaxing music while I’m in the shower, and I also like to take an extra minute or two to use an exfoliating scrub – it helps me feel relaxed and makes my skin feel soft and nourished afterwards!
Aromas are another very soothing thing to me, and I especially love holiday scents. Whether it’s a candle, diffusing essential oils, or using a nice perfume, experimenting with scents are a great way to promote relaxation in your life. When I’m on the go and can’t use a candle, I like to carry around eucalyptus-scented lotion with me – that way if I’m feeling overwhelmed, I can just put some lotion on my hands and neck to help me relax a little.
The bottom line is that during the holidays, we often think so much about others that we forget to take care of ourselves. But when you feel well-rested, taken care of, and relaxed, it will show in the way you treat your friends and family. So I encourage you to find 1 or 2 relaxation techniques that work for you, and fit them in somewhere in your busy schedule. Your friends, your family, and your body will thank you for it!