With all that needs to get done during the holidays – shopping, baking, gift wrapping, visiting, the list goes on – it’s easy to get overwhelmed and put self-care on the background. Here are some ideas to help you take care of yourself during the holidays. And yes, it is okay to put yourself first.
The adage to put on your own oxygen mask before helping others holds true in so many other areas of life because, if we don’t take care of ourselves, we can’t be there for others when we’re needed.
Self-Care During the Holidays: Boundaries
Boundary setting during busy times is especially important to ensure that you don’t wear yourself too thin both financially and emotionally during the holidays. So, set reasonable gift dollar limits with family and friends and don’t be afraid to say ‘not today’ to a visit if you are feeling overwhelmed. It might be difficult at first, but the more often you set boundaries, the easier it gets as people become accustomed to your healthy limits.
Buy Less ‘Stuff’
While setting financial boundaries, remember that the ‘stuff’ that accumulates over the holidays won’t make you or your loved ones happy long-term. Consider giving experiences instead, like tickets to a concert or a trip to the zoo. This way you can create memories instead of accumulating more ‘stuff’. Another idea is to give a gift to a significant charity in the name of your loved one to avoid getting caught up in the commercialism of today. You might even be able to buy your aunt a goat since some charities have ‘wish lists’ for developing communities.
Take Time for Self-Care
It’s hard to make time for exercise with all the running around, Christmas dinners, and egg nog to drink. But, we need to move a little to exude that Christmas cheer. Exercise is important to burn negative energy, release endorphins, and gain positive energy, so get out there. Here are some ideas: a mall walk before the stores open to help you keep up with the Holiday rush, a trip to the gym to burn off some Christmas baking, or a yoga class to center you before you have to deal with that difficult family member that we all know and love.
Remember, in between enjoying those few Holiday sweets, eat balanced meals with plenty of fruits and veggies to compensate and keep your energy up and blood sugars level.
Allow yourself at least 7-8 hours for sleep to feel refreshed for all the excitement to come. Having short periods of nothing scheduled is also important to refresh ourselves. So, take time to read a book, watch a little Netflix, or take a hot bath.
Be Present and Enjoy Yourself
Lastly, be present and enjoy these moments with the people you care about. By being present and grateful we can truly appreciate all we have. Remember to be kind to others as you don’t always know what they are experiencing under the surface. Above all else, be present, be grateful, and be kind.
Happy Holidays from all of us here at EWI Works.