Television networks and digital sharing boards make stunning holiday homes, gourmet meals and gracious gifting seem effortless. Now add in work, family, volunteer time, shopping, school concerts and cookie trays. It’s hard when we feel like we don’t measure up. Honestly, at times, the season of giving seems like the season of just getting through.
Turn it all around by giving yourself a gift: a healthy self-care routine to get you through the holidays and beyond. Self-care doesn’t mean we are self-centered or spoiled. It just means we spend a few moments each day to look after our mental and physical well-being so we can be present and have something left to give others.
Self-care is anything you do for yourself to maintain health and prevent illness. And it doesn’t have to be complicated. Self-care can mean you drink more water, take a walk, read a book or meditate. The key is to do it mindfully — to bring our full attention to the moment without worrying about other things.
Research proves that self-care reduces stress, while improving mood, focus and productivity. Set yourself up with the mindful intention to create your self-care plan. Here are some tips to get started:
- Short routines and practices can empower and enliven. Set aside five or 10 minutes in the morning and before bed, or whenever is best for you. Don’t let looking after yourself add to your stress. Make it convenient and easy.
- Know and respect your own limits and set reasonable expectations for yourself and boundaries for others. Give yourself permission to say “no,” when things get overwhelming.
- Find an activity that is calming, invigorating or just plain makes you happy. Give yourself permission to focus only on that and give up the guilt for indulging in “me” time.
- Holiday décor sets the tone and makes for joy. Consider adding some personal comfort items to the sparkle. Comfy pillows, themed blankets and warm colors can soothe chilly hands and sore feet.
- Use fragrance as an especially powerful conduit for emotional health and relief. Choose a fragrance that brings the calm or connects you to a happy memory. Then tie it to a personal self-care behavior, like meditation or bath time. Your mind and heart will make the connection whenever you use that fragrance in your home!
- Don’t stress over what reduces stress. If your version of self-care is hand cream, putting your phone on do not disturb for 10 minutes, taking some deep breaths or finding a few minutes to swipe on lipstick and mascara, that is great!
How will you look after yourself this holiday season? Have great self-care tips? Share in the comments.