It’s that wonderful time of year again!
The chilly air, cheerful vibes, and dazzling lights are what festive dreams are made of.
As happy as this time of year is, it can also be very stressful. Between the holiday parties, decorating, family visits, and shopping – your stress levels can be at an all-time high.
If there’s only one time of year that self-care is completely and downright necessary, this is it!
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Making your needs and wellbeing a priority during the holidays can go a long way in avoiding stress, burnout and even sickness.
So, when you feel like you need to slow down and take a breather, try the ideas below to get you practicing all the self-care you need to feel relaxed and recharged this holiday season.
1.Watch your favorite holiday movie
So what if you watched Elf 10 times this year already? Watching your favorite holiday movie in December snuggled up on the couch when it’s snowing outside makes it 10 times better.
2. Use towels right out of the dryer
Who else dreads the moment you have to get out of the shower on a cold morning? To make that moment more pleasant, stick your towel in the dryer before your shower and come out to a warm, soft towel to wrap yourself in. Such a simple and cozy self-care act.
3. Go Christmas light seeing
There’s nothing like taking a stroll down your neighborhood and seeing all the festive decorations people put up during the holidays. You don’t need to drag the whole family along either. It’s a free and peaceful way to uplift your mood and get into the holiday spirit.
4. Let yourself enjoy all the food
Eat the cookies, drink the wine and don’t feel guilty about it. Don’t think you have to work out extra just because you indulged. You will just be adding unnecessary stress to your mind. See food through a lens of balance – not guilt, not regret. The holidays only come around one time a year, so make the most out of it and enjoy every minute of it.
5. Journal and let out all your thoughts
Journaling is a calming outlet because it lets you pour all your thoughts and feelings out on paper instead of having them bottled up. By helping you work through your problems, journaling allows for deep thinking and allows you to focus on what’s really going on your head. You can literally write about anything – you’ll be surprised at how easily writing comes to you once you sit down and let it flow. If you’re a journaling beginner, the perfect way to start is with The Five Minute Journal.
6. Practice gentle yoga at home
Take some time to slow down and move your body in a gentle way. Yoga relaxes you, improves your energy and protects you from injury. I recommend Yoga With Adriene for at home practice, where you can choose from a variety of yoga styles to get you moving any way you want.
7. Go ice-skating with a friend
Grab a friend, head to the rink and prepare to feel like a kid again. A classic wintertime experience – ice-skating is not only relaxing but also a good workout.
8. Say no when you need to
With all the hustle and bustle of the holidays, don’t feel like you have to commit to everything. They need you to volunteer? A dozen cookies are being requested for tomorrow? Give yourself permission to say no when you just can’t find the time or when you simply need a mental break.Give yourself permission to say no when you just can’t find the time or when you simply need a mental break. Click To Tweet
9. Treat yourself to a gift from you to you
Sometimes you just need to buy yourself that thing that you’ve been wanting since forever. If you’ve been eyeing those heels, that kitchenware or new eyeshadow…treat yo’ self girl! You deserve a gift from the person who knows you the best.
10. Make your favorite holiday drink
From hot cocoa and eggnog to peppermint tea, holiday drinks are perfect for when you need to take a moment to unwind.
11. Call an old friend and wish them a happy holiday season
Remember that friend you’ve been meaning to call but always forget? Call them! It’ll make you feel so much better to reconnect with them and get it off your chest.
12. Take a free online class about something you’ve been wanting to learn
I love learning new things but often can’t find the time to do it. Online classes are the perfect solution. They’re short, yet thorough and you can do them from the comfort of your own home. You can take a class on ANYTHING: photography, baking, indoor plants, crafting … the options are limitless.
13. Make crafts
Crafting can be so relaxing. I don’t know about you but walking into an arts and crafts store like Michaels makes me feel like a kid in a candy store. From homemade ornaments, cards, and gifts, there is an endless amount of opportunities to get creative and put your mind at ease.
14. Curl up by the Christmas tree with your favorite book
A good read is so much better under the magical lights of your holiday scenery. Reading gives you a chance to rest, recharge and de-stress during the busy holiday season.
15. Get yourself some cozy holiday pajamas, sweater or fuzzy socks
December means chilly weather (usually), so it’s the perfect time to stock up on cozy holiday attire to keep you warm when you’re chilling at home during those cold, winter days.
30 self-care ideas to take care of yourself during the holidays Click To Tweet
16. Make your house smell like festive scents
Essential oils and candles during this time of year are my favorite. Peppermint, wintergreen, cinnamon…the list goes on. Having a cozy, festive scent hit you as soon as you walk in a room can be so relaxing and invigorating.
17. Take a warm bath with all the works
A bath bomb, Epsom salt, candles, music and/or a good read is what I call bath heaven! Even if you don’t include any of the above or just a few, a warm bath is the ultimate act of self-care during the holidays. If you’re looking to spice up your bath with an all-natural candle, I love beeswax candles.
18. Make it a pajama day
Make it a tradition to have an annual pajama day where you don’t do anything but relax. It’s your day to stay in and do whatever you want to do. It’ll probably become one of the things you look forward to the most every holiday season.
19. Get a festive mani or pedi
I’ve always wanted to get one of these because it looks so cute but I always forget (oops). The holidays are a time for celebration, so why not go all out and have your nails match the festivities? Check out these pins for inspiration.
Related post: 12 Simple Self-Care Tips and Ideas for a Healthy Life
20. Listen to holiday music or make your own playlist
When people say music is good for the soul, they aren’t lying. Music can be healing, uplifting and just plain fun. I love listening to all kinds of music as part of my self-care daily ritual, but especially during the holidays. Holiday music gets you in the festive spirit and brings back old cherished holiday moments.
21. Check in with yourself
Stop, take a breather and take note of how you’re really feeling. Do you feel happy? Do you feel stressed? Acknowledge that feeling and ask yourself what’s making you feel that way. You can then choose to act on it or simply let it go without any judgment. Being in touch with how we feel throughout the day helps us to be more present and gentler with how we project our emotions.
22. Re-Create a holiday tradition
Remember that thing you used to do as a kid during the holidays that brought you so much joy? Bring it back! Whether it’s making snow angels, Christmas cookie decorating or caroling – do that one thing that will bring your inner child tears of happiness.
23. Take a walk and get some vitamin D
During the winter months, it’s hard to get the Vitamin D our body needs. But spending even a small amount of time outside when the sky clears up and the sun shines through is better than nothing and helps you to clear your head. If you live in the North and just can’t bear to walk outside when it’s freezing, try these ways to get your Vitamin D.
24. Color your worries away
If you can’t stop stressing about holiday gifts and planning, try coloring to ease your mind. It’s said that as you color, your brain experiences relief by entering a meditative state. Coloring is such a good way to practice self-care during the holidays because it takes minimal effort and you can do in the comfort of your home. My all-time favorite adult coloring book is this one here.
25. Meal prep for the week
OK, you may be thinking …how is this self-care, Angela? Hear me out. The holidays are crazy busy – so what better way to save time, money and stress than making sure your meals are all set for the week? After meal prepping, you won’t have to worry about cooking unless you’re cooking for the holiday gatherings. Check out my tips on how to get started meal prepping.
26. Buy yourself some fresh flowers
Why wait for someone to buy you flowers? Sometimes a girl just needs to buy herself some flowers to celebrate her happiness. Flowers don’t need to signify a special occasion, they can simply be a reminder of the beauty that surrounds us.
27. Make a holiday treat just for you
During the holidays, you may find that whenever you step into the kitchen you’re making food for everyone BUT yourself and it quickly begins to feel like a chore. You know that holiday dessert you’ve been eyeing on Pinterest that you’ve been dying to try? Gather up the recipe and indulge in that treat – if anybody wants the leftovers they can have it but you get first dibs!
28. Turn your room into a cozy haven with strand lights
My best friend has these up in her room and they make it feel so dreamy. This is definitely on my to-do list! For precaution, try to buy ones without lead in them like Ikea lights.
29. Declutter your closet to get ready for the new year
It’s time to pull down those clothes that you haven’t worn in 3 years and give them away. You’ll see how good it can feel to live with less. Like they say, cluttered spaces are chaos for the mind. Plus, you’ll have more room for fresh 2018 wardrobe.
30. Write down all the things that happened this year that you are grateful for
As the end of the year approaches, take some time to reflect on everything big and small that happened throughout the year that you’re grateful for. Read it at the beginning of the new year and rejoice in all the positive things that happened, and all the great things that are to come.
A little regular self-care during the holidays will ensure you stay happy and healthy once the new year comes around. The better you take care of yourself, the more you can joyfully give to others during this special time of year.
Now it’s your turn … how do you ensure that you stay happy and healthy during the holidays?