The most wonderful time of the year can also be quite overwhelming. On top of managing your regular day-to-day, you’re suddenly tasked with responsibilities such as buying gifts, decorating the house, and planning family gatherings.
It’s normal to feel stressed around the holidays. However, identifying your stressors and taking care of yourself allows you to feel better prepared and more at ease heading into the busy season.
As you prepare for the holidays, consider adding these self care rituals to your to-do list:
- Set Aside “Me” Time
While the holidays are often spent surrounded by friends and family, too much social interaction can become more stressful than enjoyable. That’s why it’s important to set aside time for yourself, so you can relax, unwind, and reflect on your emotions.
You may feel selfish for taking “me” time, but you shouldn’t. It’s necessary to take time for yourself so you can recharge, tend to your needs, and ensure you’re feeling your best. Respect your limits, and make sure you spend at least 30 minutes each day to focus solely on yourself.
How you choose to spend your personal time is completely up to you. You can watch a movie, head to the gym, reflect in a journal, or engage in any activity that helps you feel at ease. Turn off your devices, limit distractions, and indulge in anything that’s not holiday related. Unless it’s an emergency, don’t let others take away from the time you’ve set aside for yourself.
- Take Care of Your Skin
Your skin can reveal a lot about your overall health. For instance, breakouts and premature aging are conditions that may indicate you’re stressed. When you’re stressed, your skin is probably the last thing on your mind. However, it’s much easier to prevent these conditions rather than reverse them.
Taking a proactive approach and following a consistent skincare routine can help you feel more in control and give you one less thing to worry about during the holiday season. Spending time on your skin can also help you feel relaxed, especially after a long day of holiday preparation.
To reduce stress and avoid skincare mishaps down the road, consider using products that are rich in the protein collagen to keep your skin firm and elastic to combat premature aging. In addition, drink plenty of water and remember to wash your face twice a day to ensure a healthy complexion.
- Know Your Priorities
You’ll probably have a lot on your plate during the holidays, and with conflicting obligations, it might not be feasible to do it all. That’s why it’s important to identify your priorities and determine where to direct your time and energy.
Managing your daily schedule is simple. Start each day by listing all of the tasks you’d like to accomplish. Place nonnegotiable priorities at the top of your list and less important tasks toward the bottom. Be sure to keep the list short, and only focus on one task at a time to avoid any unnecessary stress.
Determining your priorities and creating a plan ahead of time will help guide your decisions throughout the day and provide you with a sense of control and order. Remember, your well being should always be a top priority, so be sure to set aside time to tend to your health.
- Create a Budget
The holidays are a time for giving, which means it can be easy to overspend. By creating a budget ahead of time, you can ensure you stay within your means when traveling or shopping for gifts, food, and decor. It can also help you determine how you’d like to allocate your money.
Start by deciding how much you’d like to spend on each category. This will help give you an idea of how much you should be spending. If you find that you need to spend more than the allotted amount on any given category, you can always reallocate your budget accordingly.
As a general rule of thumb, you shouldn’t spend money that you don’t have, as that could lead to financial stress. To help stick to a budget, consider a cash-only approach, so you can avoid unintentionally racking up high credit card bills.
- Practice Mindfulness Through Meditation
It’s easy to get swept away by all of the seasonal chaos of the holidays, which is why it’s important to find ways to relax and feel grounded. Meditating and practicing mindfulness can help you take a step back and feel more balanced as you take on the busy season.
Whenever you feel overwhelmed, take a moment to practice mindfulness by focusing on your breathing and reflecting on your current situation without judgement. Release feelings of guilt when things don’t go to plan, let go of negative emotions, and take a mindful approach to the holiday season.
Practicing mindfulness and meditation doesn’t have to take a lot of time either. Some meditation apps offer short guided meditations that only take a few minutes. So, whether you’re in the car, at work, or in the store, you can practice meditation any time you’re feeling stressed.
- Lean on Others for Support
Many people experience the holiday blues, which are triggered by the added stressors, high expectations, and gloomier weather that often accompany the holiday season. These factors can cause you to feel tense, fatigued, and lonely.
You may feel pressured to take on everything on your own. However, it’s okay to ask for help when you need it. More often than not, your family and friends are eager to lend a hand with cooking, cleaning, decorating, childcare, and shopping.
Lean on those closest to you for emotional support. If you need a friend to talk to or just need to take a mental break, don’t be afraid to turn to others during the season. Pay close attention to your mental well being, and take a step back from your responsibilities before they become too much to handle.
Although the holidays can be overwhelmingly busy, it’s important to stay on top of your mental and physical well being. While self care is important year-round, implementing these rituals will help ensure you keep stress at bay during the holiday season.