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 with 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. You’ll feel better for it.
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.
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. Delegate when you can.
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.
6. Be Creative
Creative expression relieves stress and anxiety. 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.
8. Love List
Make a list of everyone and everything you love. You could do this as part of your gratitude journal or as a separate exercise.
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 Christmas can lead to a lot of pent-up thoughts and feelings. They don’t all need to be said aloud, but they 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 the tech time until after the New Year.
A good nap or mindful downtime can be a great way to reset your energy.
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.
You know that person who always makes you laugh? Plan to spend some time chatting with them. 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 Christmas 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.
17. Manage the Clutter
A lot of new items enter the home this time of year. For each new thing that comes in, get rid of something else in that same category. Got a new Christmas sweater? Get rid of one you no longer wear.
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.
19. The Power of No
People will ask for things. They always do. But if you’re feeling more overwhelmed due to Christmas prep, you’re allowed to say no.
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.
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 Christmas? 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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