25 Ways To Care For Yourself This Holiday Season

25 Ways To Care For Yourself This Holiday Season

Whether you love shopping for gifts, traveling, and hosting family or not, the holidays are stressful. Are you feeling overwhelmed by holiday stress? Perhaps, like everything else in life, holiday stress is a reflection of how well we take care of ourselves. Here are 25 simple ways to care for yourself during the holiday rush.

1. Share Love

It’s easy to be hyper-focused on gifts and material goods this time of year. Take one day, hit pause, and focus on giving your love with the same intensity you give those holiday shopping sprees. That’s what people really want anyway – material goods are just one way to show it.

2. Pause and Breathe

Pausing for a deep breath cures a multitude of problems. Whether you’re feeling stressed, anxious, frustrated, or exhausted, give yourself a moment to breathe or do a guided breathing exercise. You’ll feel better for it. 

3. Stop

Prepping for Christmas is a lot of work. It’s easy to overdo it and wear yourself out. Take a day. Stop. Do nothing more than care for yourself for a full 24 hours. It’ll make the days that follow feel much less stressful because you will feel rested and recharged.

4. Let It Go

It’s impossible to please everyone and still stay balanced within yourself. Decide what you can let go of and then do so. Set boundaries for yourself to protect your time and capacity without feeling guilty and delegate tasks when you can.

A group of people clinking glasses together in a toast.

5. Show Gratitude

In the midst of the craziness this time of year, it can be easy to forget how much you have to be grateful for. This might be the perfect time to start a gratitude journal. Gratitude tends to change our attitudes and hearts in the middle of a busy season.

6. Be Creative

Creative expression relieves stress and anxiety. Try a new holiday craft, create something new, or renew a creative hobby that you enjoyed previously. However you choose to create, have fun with it!

7. Give from the Heart

Choose a charitable organization that speaks to your heart. Give of your time or your funds in a joyful way instead of thinking about what else you have to do. Giving from the heart also changes our perspective on what is important, making it easier to get through stressful parts of the year. 

8. Love List

Make a list of everyone and everything you love to remind yourself of the love and positivity in your life. You could do this as part of your gratitude journal or as a separate exercise. 

Holiday glasses with peppermints and wreaths in the background.

9. Appropriate Regifting

Not every gift needs to be new and still in the original box. Give something meaningful, and with love, such as an extra copy of your favorite book with a special note inside or a beautiful bouquet in a vase you no longer use. You can take clippings from your favorite house plants to share your green thumb. House plants have been shown to improve air quality, reduce stress levels, and boost productivity.

10. Write it Out

Dealing with family during the holidays can lead to a lot of pent-up thoughts and feelings. They don’t all need to be said aloud but should be expressed. Write them down so you can process them and let them go. 

11. Scale Back on Tech Time

With the internet, social media, and smartphones, we’re never really alone. While that can be good, it might be time for a break. If you’re feeling especially stressed, cut down on tech time until after the New Year.

12. Rest

A good nap or mindful downtime can be a great way to reset your energy. Rest can include anything that fills your cup – think of something you truly enjoy doing, and dedicate some time to it over the next few weeks leading up to Christmas. 

13. Under Plan Your Time

Feel like everyone wants a piece of you? Set up your schedule with plenty of free space so your day can unfold the way it needs to instead of being nonstop from one thing to the next.

friends eating drinking and laughing

14. Laughter

You know that person who always makes you laugh? Plan to spend some time chatting with them either on the phone or catching up over a cup of coffee. Laughter is healing and stress relieving.

15. Read a Real Book

Ebooks and e-readers are great, but they keep you connected to your tech. Instead, read an actual book with your phone on silent. Perhaps a self-improvement book or an old favorite that always makes your heart happy.

16. Minimize the Decorations

Taking out all the holiday decor, decorating, and then putting it all away is exhausting. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, try decorating with your favorite pieces and leaving the rest in the storage boxes. Your favorite items will stand out more, and you’ll have more time for something else. Instead, make the most of the holiday season with music.

17. Manage the Clutter

A lot of new items enter the home this time of year. For each new thing that comes in, discard something else in that same category. Got a new Christmas sweater? Get rid of one you no longer wear. Buy a new Christmas decoration? Donate an older decoration that you no longer need. 

18. Unconventional Self-Care

Massage and bubble baths, not your thing? That’s okay! There are lots of other ways to do self-care. Find one (or more) that works for you, and be sure to include it regularly.

Honoring Caregivers This Holiday Season

A close-up picture of a Christmas tree with ornaments hanging on the branches.

19. The Power of No

People will ask for things. They always do. But if you’re feeling more overwhelmed due to Holiday prep, you’re allowed to say no. Find a simple phrase you can use, so you feel prepared to say no when you need to. Phrases like “I am not able to…” or “Thanks for thinking of me but I can’t commit to that right now” are some places to start. 

20. Get Outside

Go for a walk, run, or hike in nature. Leave your devices on silent and take time to notice the magic around you.

21. Manage Your Spending

You created a holiday budget for a reason. Respect it, and you’ll avoid the stress of how to pay for overspending later on.

22. Decline Opt-In Offers

Whether you shop in-store or online, merchants are always after your email address. Then, they bombard you with emails about sales and new products. These emails are digital clutter. Yes, you can always unsubscribe later, but save yourself the aggravation and opt out in the first place.

23. Give Yourself a Gift

This time of year is very focused on giving gifts to others. You deserve a gift, too! Whether it’s a treat from your favorite coffee shop or a new book, give yourself something, too.

bathtub tray with books coffee and candle

24. Set the Mood

Create a relaxing space for yourself with candles and a cup of tea or coffee. The candles will brighten the longer periods of darkness during the winter and help create a relaxing space.

25. Ease into the Day

Do you hop out of bed and immediately start with the “go, go, go” routine of prepping for the holidays? Try creating a more relaxing morning routine where you make time for self-care first thing. Even five minutes of setting your intentions for the day will make a big difference.

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