Annie Collum, BSN, RN is the RIA Senior Manager, Physician Liaison in Denver, Colorado
10 Tips For Holiday Self-Care
The World Health Organization defines self-care as: “the ability of individuals, families, and communities to promote health, prevent disease, maintain health, and to cope with illness and disability with or without the support of a healthcare provider.”
It is easy to forget our own self-care during the holiday season. Between buying gifts, hosting parties, trying not to break your healthy habits, and attending family gatherings, it can also be the most stressful time of the year. However, it is still important to make time for self-care during the holidays. We want to help you feel your best this holiday season. We’re sharing 10 self-care tips to reduce stress and help you get the most comfort and joy out of your holidays.
Talk it Out.
The holidays can bring up a lot of emotions, baggage, and discomfort. Whatever the frustrations of the holidays, make sure you have someone you can connect with and share with. The worst thing you can do is keep everything in, so talk to someone—a coach, a friend, or someone you trust to provide you with a safe space.
Time for Self-Care.
It is important to take time for self-care during the holidays. You may be telling yourself, ‘I’ve got too much to do’, ‘How am I supposed to make time for self-care?’ However, when you are busiest is when you need self-care most. So make sure to schedule time for you this holiday season. Even ten minutes can positively impact your mental health, and it’s enough time to get outside for a breath of fresh air, a quick meditation, fit in a quick workout, or chat with a loved one to help you reset.
It’s easy to stretch ourselves too thin over the holidays by saying yes to everything. While we encourage you to say yes to the things that are most important to you, we also want to remind you to be kind to yourself, guard your time, and to politely decline anything that drains you or feels stressful.
Get Enough Sleep.
It may be tempting to stay up late to get everything done. We’ve all been there. But getting enough sleep is important to keeping our mind, body, and spirit feeling their best. Not to mention, our immune system relies on good rest. Aim for between seven and eight hours of sleep a night.
We tend to underestimate the importance of adequate water intake and forget to hydrate altogether when we’re busy, but dehydration can often take a toll on the body and make you feel downright crummy. Aim to drink half your body weight in ounces a day and keep a reusable water bottle on you at all times so you’re never left high and dry. Water helps boost energy and flushes toxins from your system, among other things.
A lot of people tend to get sick around the holidays because they’re stressed, overcommitted, and they’re not eating well or sleeping enough. Taking vitamins can help give your immune system an extra boost when it needs it most.
Breath and Smile.
If the length of your to-do list is getting too long take a moment to try two things:
1. Take some slow, deep breaths in and out. Studies have shown that this simple act can increase positivity, decrease emotional reactivity, improve brain health, and promote feelings of calmness.
2. Smile (even if you don’t feel like it). There’s something to be said for faking it ‘til you make it. If you’re feeling the opposite of happy, try grinning from ear to ear. Just the act of smiling can uplift you and snap you out of a funk.
The holidays are a great excuse to treat yourself to a little pampering. Get a new ‘do, go for a relaxing massage, give yourself a manicure. Be Intentional. Ask yourself what’s most important to you during the holidays. What do you want to do? Who do you want to spend time with? Being clear on your priorities will help you stay focused on what matters most so you can have the most meaningful holiday experience.
Make a Budget.
We all want to be generous with our loved ones, but holiday shopping shouldn’t jeopardize our financial health. Be realistic about what you can afford to spend on your loved ones, set yourself a budget, and stick to it. Trade materialistic gifts for experiences, make handmade gifts, or donate time or money to a charity you admire.
Ask for Support.
If you’ve got too much on your plate or you’re feeling overwhelmed, the best thing you can do is ask for help. People want to help, so reach out and be clear about what kind of support you need most.
Be Ok with Ok!
We all have a vision of the perfect holidays. But then between work, kids’ activities, family obligations, and just life stuff, time isn’t on our side. We’re setting ourselves up a lot of stress and disappointment. Perfection doesn’t exist and chasing it will only make us crazy. Let go of the “perfect” holiday and be okay with having an authentic, “good enough” one. We’ll have a lot more fun and a lot less stress!
We hope these tips help you have your best holiday season yet—you deserve it! And feel free to share your own tips on our Facebook and Instagram pages @invisionsallyjobe, tag us #invisionsallyjobe.