The Holidays may be the “most wonderful time of the year“, but for many of us they are also the most stressful time of the year! The thought of holiday self care may feel out of reach, but implement a few of these tips and you will be closer to a silent night than a Griswold Family Christmas.
5 Tips for a Holiday Self Care
1. Ditch Tradition:
Just because something is tradition doesn’t mean you have to do it. If certain traditions are a stress and burden on you and your family instead of a joy, then consider letting them go this year. This can be hard when the tradition is enforced by extended family, but try to find ways to meet your needs while still honoring those that feel the tradition is important.
2. Get some sunlight:
Seasonal affect disorder (SAD) can multiply the stress we feel this time of year. Be sure to get some early morning sunlight or take a vitamin D3 supplement to help alleviate SAD. The shorter daylight hours can also throw your body clock off. An alarm clock that mimics the sun rising can also help keep your body in rhythm.
3. Listen to Music:
And I don’t necessarily mean Christmas music. Listening to music and singing reduces cortisol levels leading to reduced stress. Be mindful of your seasonal soundtrack and seek out sounds that soothe you. Music recorded at specific frequencies may also help reduce stress and support wellbeing.
For some stress free holiday music, check out this spotify playlist.
4. Keep Moving:
It’s really tempting in these colder months to hide inside and sit still. Going for a walk or run, doing yoga or pilates, and generally staying active are all great ways to relieve stress. Exercising in the cold has some challenges but it can be done.
5. Plan time for Yourself:
The holidays can be a blur of shopping, parties, and driving from one family member’s house to another. Plan time to rest, breathe, and do the things that are meaningful to you. If the holidays are a painful time of year for you it’s all the more important to give yourself space to process how you are feeling and take a break from relatives that may be hard to be around.
Time for yourself might be a special night you plan during the holiday season, a few hours throughout the season you set aside to relax, or even just a few extra minutes in the car to calm yourself before going in to that relatives house. Whatever you plan for yourself, remember it is just as important as all the other plans you have this holiday season.