Well, the countdown to the holidays has officially begun! I’m sure you can join me in saying this is one of the most magical times of the year. But as we race to finish up the year strong it because a dizzying blur of; baking, Thanksgiving, recitals, holiday parties, shopping for presents, Christmas with the family and New years… OH MY!
Fa – la – la – la – la – la – la – la … wait, where did all my time go?
It’s easy to see how we get swept up in the chaos of the last few months of the year! Don’t get me wrong, there is so so much to be thankful for, but as your list of “To Do’s” grows, it gets harder and harder to make time for yourself. I bet you get pushed to the bottom of your list every year…
How do you take care of yourself during the holidays… did I just hear crickets… or was that a pin dropping!!
Seriously, gorgeous… you’ve got to take care of yourself. Remember what the flight attendants say, ‘you’ve got to put on your own oxygen mask first’!
Because I know what a busy, busy boss babe you are! So, I put together my top 10 self-care musts for this holiday season!
1. Give yourself permission
YOU are so so worthy of a whatever the heck you want! Is it just me or do you feel a little guilty when you put your foot down? Did you think, “ but, I have to _________…”
I hear you! BUT, I think it is so much more important to make time for the things we want and need. Enjoying the holidays is for us too!
I always felt torn between five (YES! Five!) family dinners, not knowing where to spend my time and always overspending on gifts to make up for my absence or swift disappearance. But the past few years, I have gotten clear on my ‘wants and needs’. I want to spend quality time with family and feel less of the stress and overwhelm that tends to go hand and hand with the holidays!
Learn to value the importance of setting boundaries. Slow down from the hustle and bustle and ask yourself, what do I want to gain during the holiday season this year? How can I make that happen? What do I value most? What type of traditions are important to me, that I wish to maintain?
2. Throw out your inner critic
If you are a type-A lady, making the perfect family dinner, posing for holiday cards and decorating can evolve into a whole new level of holiday perfection obsession. Although I see the value in creating beautiful memories, I want you to repeat this mantra with me… Progress Over Perfection… Give yourself permission to enjoy the journey and remember to give yourself a little grace! (*Even past the holidays… This is a great life habit to adopt!)
One of the uglier parts of this season is the need for perfection – whether it is hosting the perfect party, having the best Christmas decorations on the block, or finding the perfect present for someone. Of course, you want to do your best, but it’s also important to be gentle with yourself and not aim for perfection if it starts to cause other harmful emotions like stress, anxiety, guilt, frustration or anger. We tend to be most critical of ourselves and our actions so use this season as a reminder to practice grace with yourself as well as others.
3. Ask for help
I know, I know… this seems like a foreign concept to me too. I told you these are three of my favorite self-care tips, too! Your friends, family, and community are dying to lend you a hand, don’t be afraid to call out for a little support! Not only will they lessen your burden but it will allow you a little more time to just be, and enjoy the season for all the beauty and magic it can inspire!
Asking for what you really need from others will help you to find more balance in your life and create closer relationships with those around you.
4. Don’t get swept up in the crowds this holiday season
I know shopping isn’t everyone’s cup of tea… most of us don’t enjoy flitting around the mall in search of the perfect present to place under the tree. In fact, shopping for presents is one of the most time consuming, stress inducing activities of the season.
The crowds and the wow-factor of the gift can take away from the joy of giving it, for sure! So let’s try to beat the crowds this year and take time and enjoy the shopping process.
Try to shop online or brave the mall in non-peak hours! But the most important hack for holiday shopping is… changing our perspective. What feeling do you want to inspire when giving that gift? It can feel like an impossible task to buy something for ‘someone who has everything’, instead of adding to their collection of “stuff”, try to gift a feeling…
Maybe they haven’t made time for self-care, so you gift them with a message or perhaps work has been hectic, gift them the feeling of control with an organization tool!
It really is the beautiful thought behind the gift that counts!
5. Get in touch with gratitude
Guess what else protects your brain from stress and depression? Gratitude! Simply pondering the question, “What am I grateful for?” increases your daily dose of happy! Building strong positive connections in your life will boost your feelings of joy and festivity this year!
6. Give yourself a present
Gift yourself with what YOU need this year! We already know you’re at the bottom of your own list… but remember that you need a little care too. Whether that means asking for extra help, practicing self-care, hiring out a task you loathe or hiring a personal stylist to curate your holiday wardrobe ;)… make your holidays enjoyable too! It’s the little things that make us appreciate what is happening around us. Nurture yourself so you can flourish this season!
7. Make a plan and try to stick to it!
We make time for what we want… so sometimes taking a moment to map out what we really want, need and would like to get done is a helpful activity! We have to prioritize the things that will give us the most joy this holiday season… make a little time for gratitude and self-care and everything else will fall into place! Even if for just 5-minutes a day… make a promise to yourself and follow through!
The simplest and most powerful tool you have – those awesome lungs of yours. Take a minute (or 10) and just focus on your breathing. Those deep and relaxing belly breaths can have an amazing effect on your health and your stress levels. 10 minutes of daily deep, relaxing, breathing can lower the stress while elevating all the good feels. Take a break. Go outside and let yourself relax and breeeeeathe.
9. Move your body
Even if it’s just a solo dance party around the dishwasher… start moving your beautiful body! Let yourself be a little silly and shake out the stress!
Just making these simple changes in mindset and your daily routine can have HUGE ripple effects on how you slide through the holidays this year! I hope even just one of these tips speaks to you! I’d love to hear which self-care tip you might try this year!
I know one thing for sure… making small changes adds up to big results! I’m off to go do 5-9 right now!! Turnin’ up the music for my kitchen dance party as we speak!