Sometimes the best gift you can give is the gift of grace. This is true for others, but it’s also true for yourself. Often what I really need isn’t something I can buy at the store, it’s something I have to implement myself. For me, that may be a trip to my garden (in the springtime), a few days alone in the mountains, some written affirmations, or a walk around my neighborhood without my kids.
Christmas can be an especially stressful time of year that can make a lot of us feel more wound up than cheery and thankful, which is why it’s important to give yourself some self-care this holiday season! Family members can be hard to be around, finances can be tight, you might be alone if you share custody of your kids, or your kids may be crazier than usual. Whatever the case is for you, don’t forget to treat yourself in ways that can’t be packaged and placed under the tree.
Give Yourself Grace
Maybe you’re getting snappy, sad, frustrated, or overwhelmed. Maybe you’re feeling more annoyed than thankful. Maybe you know your kids won’t get exactly what they want under the tree, or you burned a potluck dish, or you’re finding it hard to exercise or stick to a diet during the holiday season. Whatever your thing is, give yourself some grace. Acknowledge your feelings, and be understanding like you would be with a dear friend. It’s okay not to feel amazing and present for every moment, so allow yourself to feel your feelings, then work to get yourself in a better place.
Take in the Moment
Sometimes the best thing I can do for myself is to put the negativity I may be feeling in a box, put in on a high shelf in my head, and allow myself to come back to it later. This helps me to stay in the moment without invalidating things I may be feeling. Taking in the moment might mean setting my phone aside and unplugging for a while, writing in the gratitude section of my phone, or soaking in my kids exactly as they are today. Some people like to meditate, and my version of that is just to sit in a cozy spot and drink my coffee or my glass of wine while I look outside. I may try to focus on my breathing. However you take in the moment, give yourself the gift of doing that intentionally.
Make a Meal for You
Instead of cooking a meal for your kids, your spouse, family, or for a potluck, make a meal for you. You can still share it with others, but make a conscious effort to make the meal you want to make without worrying about what other people will or won’t eat, or what other people like. This is such a small gift, but it’s amazing how many parents out there are unable to make a meal they really want because it won’t get eaten by the rest of the family. This small piece of self-care can put you first for once, and it’s not expensive or difficult to do.
Give Your Body What it Needs
All of our bodies may need something different, so it’s hard to make a blanket suggestion for everyone when it comes to self-care. Some people are busy all the time, and their body needs a night to lay on the couch and watch Netflix. Others spend a lot of time in solitude, or are sedentary at work, so their body may need interaction with others and some movement. Some of us are super strict on our diet and need a cheat day, others splurge too often and need something healthier in their diet. Decide what it is that your body needs, and provide that.
For many, the holiday season means a lot of time with a lot of people. Work holiday parties, family time, potlucks, Christmas programs, Saturday shopping at Target, etc. are all very overwhelming tasks that involve a lot of people. If that’s draining for you, give yourself the gift of solitude as a form of self-care. Put it on your calendar and treat it like an obligation that you can’t break. Go for a walk by yourself, take a bath alone, or go for a drive. Everyone is different, but alone time allows me to recharge so I can be a better version of myself when I need to be around others again.
The holiday season is great for so many reasons, but it’s also super hard for many people. It’s okay not to love this time of year, so don’t be hard on yourself if the holidays don’t fill you with Christmas spirit. Some people love this time of year, but still get overwhelmed, and that’s okay, too! The point is to allow yourself to feel how you feel, and to implement some self-care so those feelings are easier to manage.
These ideas are easy and free, but there are a ton of other options depending on what you prefer!
How do you plan on implementing self-care this holiday season?
P.S. My 21-Day Challenge to Find Your Compass is coming back to help with any New Years goal setting that may help you with your self-care! Whether your goals are about health and nutrition, your career, your family, or just your self-care, my 21-Day Challenge can help! CLICK HERE to learn more!