December is a busy month for almost everyone, and self-care has never been more important. Holidays aside, there’s year-end to consider, the children are usually off school, friends and loved ones tend to drop by more frequently … there’s so much happening. As a result, chances are you’re eating more, drinking more, spending more, and sleeping less.
The following ten self-care tips should help ensure you keep stress to a minimum during this joyous season.
- Just say no. If there’s an event or social obligation you’re dreading … just say no. If you’re tempted to overspend … say no. If you don’t think you should have that extra drink/cookie/chocolate … say no. You’ll see that the difficult act of saying no becomes easier each time you practice it.
- Practice the one in one out rule. Most of us have too much stuff in our homes. Too much stuff leads to too much clutter, and too much clutter leads to more stress, more time needed to clean, and less overall enjoyment of your living space. If there are items in your home you’re not using, consider donating them to a charitable organization, so they can be passed on to those in need. I try to practice the “one in one out” rule. Each time something new comes in, something old goes out. Including holiday decorations!
- Eat well. Tis the season for overindulgence. I believe we should all enjoy our favorite holiday treats, but too much and we end up feeling horrible. Moderation is key! Try to stick to the 80/20 rule. I know, another rule! But bear with me. You eat well 80% of the time, and the other 20%, enjoy without guilt.
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- Nap. If you’re run ragged, have a catnap before heading out to the next party or event! The same applies if you’re nodding off at your desk. Listen to your body and close your eyes for a few minutes. You’ll feel so much better, and you’ll be happier for it. 20 minutes is all you need.
- Read for pleasure. Pick up a book, sit down with a cup of tea or hot cocoa, and get lost in the pages of your favorite novel or whatever other kind of book suits your pleasure.
- Enjoy friends and family. This is the perfect time of year to enjoy friends and family. It’s a time to be thankful for the love of a wonderful family and close friends. Enjoy that time. Let them know how thankful you are for them, and make sure they know how much you appreciate them.
- Sleep. Yes this sounds a lot like number 4, but here I mean you need to prioritize your sleep over the holidays! This isn’t the time for burning the candle at both ends. It’s a time for enjoying time with loved ones. You can’t be your best self if you’re snappy with others because you haven’t gotten enough rest. Sleep is the gift that keeps on giving 🙂
- Engage all of your senses. This is the time to light candles, or turn on your essential oil diffuser. It’s the time to ask for a beloved foot rub, to listen to your favorite music. We were given five senses for a reason … treat each one of them during this time of year!
- Don’t rush. Will the world come crashing down around you if you’re ten minutes later leaving the department store later than you’d planned? Trust me, it won’t. Give yourself enough time when you leave the house to get everything done without rushing. Take a deep breath. You’ll enjoy EVERYTHING so much more if you’re not running around wishing you weren’t running late. Just give yourself time! It’s easy.
- Create a morning ritual. For me, it’s prayer, but for you, it could be yoga, meditation, a shower and a cup of tea, a walk around the block, a series of deep breaths … whatever works for you. The point of the morning ritual is to make a habit out of taking time for yourself. This should set you up for a great day!
These are just a few of the self-care tips that come to mind to help you be more relaxed and enjoy this wonderful holiday season. Are there any other tips you can add to add to this list?
Also published on Medium.