The holiday train has left the station. The countdown to Christmas is on and for many, the calendar for the next month is already full. There are lots of ways to stave off stress this holiday season, but one sure-fire way to stay happy over the holidays is to make sure you fit in some self-care.
It may not be possible to take a day at the spa (although if you can swing it, all the power to you!) so I suggest slipping in some small moments of self-care every day. It’s amazing how a few minutes of taking care of ourselves can positively affect not only our mindset, but the way we interact with those around us. It may seem like a simple concept to prioritize self-care, but it’s easy to forget to carve out time for ourselves when we get busy.
Here are a few ways to sneak in self-care amidst the Christmas chaos:
Take the opportunity to turn in early on nights that you don’t have social gatherings or houseguests. Banking enough sleep makes it much easier to sustain the physical and mental demands of the holiday season.
After the kids have been tucked in (and before you tackle the dishes and the laundry,) run a bath, light some candles, and let yourself take a long, relaxing soak in the tub.
Tack on an extra five or ten minutes to your grocery shop or errand run. Sit in the car and listen to a mini-meditation.
If it’s not a reality to head out for a walk, a run, a cross-country ski by yourself, get out into nature with the family. Research shows that being in nature is a mood booster.
Whether the kids have nap time, reading time, craft time, or TV time, schedule some quiet time each afternoon. You can cozy up and read a good book or simply listen to some calming music.
Before you fall asleep, take a few moments to look back through your day and pick three highlights. You can record these in a notebook, or simply take a little time to appreciate the best parts of your day.
Whether your "team" includes your husband, partner, mom or other family and friends, come up with a plan so each of you get a few hours to themselves at some point. For example: You might take a yoga class while the kids head out to the local rink with their dad.
The holidays are supposed to be a happy time. Plan to do things you enjoy, and let yourself remember that laughter and fun are an important part of self-care.
If you get too wound up to sleep during the holidays, try these relaxation and meditation tips for sleep. If you’re feeling guilty for telling the kids to play by themselves while you take a much-needed break, here’s why you should leave your kids alone – often. And whatever your holidays may bring you, in the form of tinsel or tantrums, take comfort in the fact that you are not alone.