There’s no sugar-coating it. The holiday season can be a hectic time of year to navigate. From gift-giving to overspending to perhaps overindulging in unhealthy foods and beverages – even the stress of traveling or navigating family dynamics. It can sometimes feel like you’ve lost control of the ability to take care of yourself the way you should.
With so much going on, it can be easy to fall into unhealthy habits or even get off track with the big goals you may have set early on in the year. And when you go into the holidays with the expectation that it’s going to be stressful, chances are it will be.
But! There are a few things you can do to not let the holiday overwhelm get the best of you or leave you feeling stressed out. And who said you can’t practice self-care during the holidays? Here are 8 simple ways to put self-care as a priority during the holiday season.
1. Get your holiday shopping done early
While you may want to put holiday shopping at the end of your to-do list, save yourself the stress and get it done early! Simply committing to this task a couple of weeks earlier than normal can save you a TON of stress and anxiety.
Okay, so maybe you've already figured out what you're going to get your loved ones, but the reason why holiday shopping can be so stressful is because of everything else that comes with it when you wait until the last minute. Things like:
- Holiday crowds
- Holiday traffic and parking
- Long lines
- Limited stock
- Shipping delays if you’re ordering online
- And so on…
So sometimes, showing yourself love this holiday season might mean getting ahead on your shopping to dodge any unnecessary shopping stress.
2. Carve out time for yourself (even if it’s just a few minutes)
As much as the holidays are about gathering and making things special for those closest to us, it’s also important to remember to make ourselves a top priority. During this time of year, it’s natural to put most of our energy into being there for others – attending holiday parties, traveling, gift-giving, and so on. But this is the time of year when making time for yourself matters the most!
Whether that’s doing a calming, morning meditation or writing in a gratitude journal, taking even just a few minutes each day that is 100% dedicated to you can keep you feeling aligned and balanced.
3. Reaffirm your boundaries
Many of us will be lucky to celebrate the holidays with our dearest friends or to be surrounded by family members. So you may find yourself in the company of people who you only see every once in a while or only during the holidays. And no matter where you find yourself on your personal development journey, it’s important to be mindful of our boundaries and the boundaries of others during these moments.
You see, the holidays can sometimes bring about unexpected emotional triggers that push our boundaries or comfort levels. Whether you’re dealing with recent grief that can feel heightened during the holidays or trying to navigate new family dynamics, hold fast to your boundaries. Because no matter the time of year, our boundaries are what allow us to show up as the best versions of ourselves. And if you have no boundaries set, consider using this time of year to establish them.
4. Stick to a budget
One of the biggest ways we can hurt ourselves during the holidays is in our pockets. While generosity is always a good thing, breaking the bank to show how much you care for someone actually prevents you from caring for yourself.
Feeling like you have to out-do yourself or keep up with always buying cool/trendy gifts can take the meaning out of gift-giving altogether. So it’s important to also set financial boundaries with yourself, so you’re not feeling depleted once the holidays are over. Remember, what matters most is that you took the time to give, not how much you spent on the gift.
5. Don’t overcommit to too many plans
Like a very long, overwhelming to-do list, having a long list of plans can also cause burnout. The holidays are when many people enjoy socializing and joining in the festivities this time of year brings. But the last thing you want to do is become overwhelmed with all of the places you need to go to and the people you need to see.
Stretching yourself too thin, especially during such a hectic time of year, can do more harm than good. Although you may receive the occasional guilt trip from a friend or family member who expects you to be there, it’s okay to say no to plans if you just don’t have the energy. Remember, taking care of yourself and protecting your energy is a form of self-care.
6. Commit to at least 20 minutes of physical activity every day
There is usually an abundance of delicious snacks, drinks, and desserts to consume during the holiday season, which is why committing to at least 20 minutes of physical activity every day is a great idea! This small action can prevent you from beating yourself up over the occasional overindulgence of holiday goodies and keep your mind feeling clear.
Whether you go for a run or take your dog for a walk in the neighborhood, as long as you’re able to move your body and get the blood pumping each day, you’ll be doing both your body and mind a favor this holiday season.
The holiday season is one of the busiest times of the year. Scrambling to find gifts, late-night holiday baking, festive parties to attend, not to mention travel – the list goes on of the many reasons why we may not be getting as much sleep as we’re used to. But part of taking care of ourselves during the holidays requires adequate sleep.
And because it can be such a busy time of year, this is when our sleep schedules matter the most! Committing to a healthy sleep schedule, like waking up and going to sleep at the same time every night, can be incredibly beneficial to your mood and energy levels this season.
8. Establish what this time of year means to you
Just because it’s the holidays doesn’t mean the inner work has to stop. And we know that self-care comes in many forms, so this time of year is the perfect time to get back to what makes you, YOU! It can be easy to get lost in the rush and excitement the holiday season brings, but coming back to your center and aligning with your purpose will have you going into the new year feeling even better!
Don’t wait and save all of your goals or resolutions till after the holidays. The time is now to get reacquainted with what you enjoy most about the holidays and life overall, and how that aligns with your core values.
And speaking of aligning with your values, what do you think your life would look like if you could reveal anything, anyone, or any outcome you desire? Well, the reason I ask is that for a limited time, we’re offering FREE access to our incredible Manifesting Amplifier Visualization Exercise. And it was created to help you boost your creation power to create your dream reality. How does that sound this holiday season? Well, click here now to get your hands on this powerful tool while it’s free!
Natalie Ledwell is a best selling author, speaker and successful entrepreneur. She's passionate about helping others to achieve their greatest dreams and ambitions through her personal development programs and her online TV show, The Inspiration Show.