🎄Remember “Me” in Merry 🎄
By Karina Santos
~ ♩ jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way ♩ ~
The most beautiful time is filled with joy, happiness, hustle, and bustle. This time of the season, there is lots of excitement from kids staying home from school. Yet, there can be lots of stress from planning, traveling, preparation – and a range of positive and negative emotions.
For many, the holiday season is a way of planning and taking care of others. However, this leaves little time for ourselves. There are plenty of ideas on how everyone can take some time and practice self-care during the holiday season.
Self-Care doesn’t only have to be about focusing on our physical bodies – like getting a massage, manicure, or yoga session. More importantly, paying attention to our thoughts and emotions, expectations, and interactions. This will help you work at your best in all areas of life.
There are plenty of ways in which you can take care of yourself. Here are just a few:
Make Time for You: December is a typical time to experience many activities on your social calendar. It cannot be easy to practice self-care if you don’t have the time. There are plenty of strategies that can be practiced while out and about. Still, self-care commonly necessitates calmer, quieter surroundings. Extroverts are fueled by increased engagements, but for being social butterflies, they need to take time for themselves to moderate the need for external validation. On the other hand, introverts can intentionally block time for themselves, which is essential.
Monitoring Stress Levels: It’s okay to take some pauses when you get stressed. You can step outside and take a quick walk. Or, writing down your stress levels in a journal at various times of the day can help as well. Take note of how you feel in the situation you’re in. What’s making you stressed? Is it around certain people? Or engaging in specific activities. Having a list of activities you can engage in to relax for a few minutes can make a huge difference. Doing some yoga, watching a TV show or movie, or drawing/painting are just some of the many ways you can relax and breathe.
Enjoy What You Eat: Taking Care of Your Physical Health: Ensuring you get adequate sleep and a nutritious diet is vital during the holiday season. You can develop a plan to enjoy the special foods and treats around the holidays while balancing them with healthy eating. However, remember that it’s okay to relax and enjoy the food on the table. Don’t feel guilty about eating sweets or large meals. You don’t need to stress or talk yourself out of eating something because you want to be healthy. It’s okay to eat. Don’t let the food rules get to you at this time.
Being Present Around the Presents: The holidays can be a time that we reflect on the past, including thoughts of the year behind us, the traditions that have evolved, the relationships that ended, and the lives we have lost. It can also be a time that prompts worry and fear, from concerns about being in the presence of toxic people or what is to come in the year ahead. We cannot time travel to the past or future. Instead of revisiting the past or obsessing about the future, give yourself the gift of the present. Take time to set technology aside and immerse yourself in the present moment as the best version of yourself.
Practicing Gratitude: Gratitude is a first that can help broaden our perspective. It’s an excellent coping skill because it can be practiced at any time, and it doesn’t cost a thing. Thankfulness is a gift you give yourself, but you may also choose to share your gratitude with others as well. If you catch yourself falling into negativity during the holidays, try to reflect on all you are grateful for. Don’t minimize your struggles, but help yourself see what overshadows your efforts. Choosing to share gratitude with others can improve bonding and spark warmth in your holiday gatherings.
While you’re shopping for gifts for friends and family this holiday season, be sure to give yourself some time for self-care along with a healthy mind and body.
Remember to enjoy the holidays and take care of yourselves for your own needs and emotions. Like on a flight, flight attendants say that you need to put on your own oxygen mask first before helping others as part of their safety precautions. This may help you more fully appreciate and find meaning within this holiday season. Being proactive in caring for yourself can avoid stress and business that would otherwise feel overwhelming. Instead of dreading the holidays this year, celebrate them with pure joy by keeping your focus on what is the healthiest for you.
Take care of yourself over the holidays. It’s the best gift you can give yourself and everyone you love. ❤