By Jeannine Re McNamara, RD
The holidays are a wonderful time of year for most people, but they can also be challenging – with multiple holiday parties, travel, gift buying and arranging family get-togethers. So often, we get so overwhelmed with juggling multiple responsibilities during the holidays, that we end up neglecting to take care of ourselves. Self-care, the act of taking care of our own needs and health, should be a priority, at all times but especially during the holidays. Neglecting our own health and happiness can exacerbate feelings of being overwhelmed and stressed, and can put a real damper on what should be a festive and joyful season!
So how do you practice self-care during this holiday season? Here are some of our suggestions.
1. Schedule time for yourself. Take time off from work to enjoy the holiday season with your friends and family, so that you are not juggling multiple responsibilities.
2. Give yourself a gift. Be kind to yourself and do something that you want. This could be as simple as enjoying a lazy day at home with a good book, or it may mean booking yourself a massage. For others, it may mean buying a special gift that they have always wanted (keeping budget in mind!). Giving yourself a gift may also mean investing in your own health or career advancement. This may mean scheduling a health/wellness appointment with a care provider or investing time and money into a course or development opportunity. The point is to do something for you, something that brings you joy and genuinely makes you happy, both in the short term and in the future.
3. Learn to say No! The holidays are hectic as it is, and you may not be able to do everything as planned. Say no to social engagements if you feel drained and overwhelmed – your friends will understand! Give yourself the gift of time and a calmer schedule.
4. Set realistic expectations for the holidays. You may not be able to exercise as much as you want, or get to everything on your “To-Do” list – and that is OK. Give yourself the gift of grace, to do what you can, and acknowledge what you can’t.
The holidays should be a happy and joyous time, and that may mean taking a little more time for yourself this year!